Republican congressional candidate Carl Paladino appeared on a radio program last year and claimed that New York needs someone like Adolf Hitler to lead it. In the newly unearthed remarks, Paladino said he'd recently heard someone talk about how Hitler had “aroused the crowds” -- and he commented that “that's the kind of leader we need today. We need somebody inspirational. We need somebody that is a doer, has been there and done it.”
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the third-ranked Republican in the House, has endorsed Paladino’s campaign, calling him a “friend” and “conservative outsider who will be a tireless fighter.”
Paladino is a businessman and Republican politician who has appeared as a commentator on media outlets, including Fox News and Fox Business. He also briefly hosted a podcast. Paladino announced his congressional campaign for New York’s 23rd Congressional District last week after Republican Rep. Chris Jacobs dropped his reelection bid.
Paladino has a long history of making toxic and bigoted remarks. Media Matters reported earlier this week that he shared a post on Facebook portraying the recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, as false flag attacks meant to help Democrats “revoke the 2nd amendment and take away guns.” The post also claimed “the Texas shooter was receiving hypnosis training” apparently under the direction of the CIA.
He initially responded to media attention to his post by lying that he didn’t personally share it and he doesn’t “even know how to post on Facebook.” Paladino later admitted that he posted it. Media outlets also reported that Paladino sent the post to his email list.
His commentary has also included saying his state needs someone like Adolf Hitler to lead it.
Paladino appeared on the February 13, 2021, edition of The r-House Radio Show, a weekly radio program that airs on WBEN in Buffalo, New York. (Update 6/10/22: The r-House Radio Show's podcast page for that episode has been taken down. An archive of it can be found here.) The program is hosted by real estate executive Peter Hunt.
During the show, Hunt asked Paladino how to “rouse the population” and get people thinking about change.
Paladino replied: “I was thinking the other day about somebody had mentioned on the radio Adolf Hitler and how he aroused the crowds. And he would get up there screaming these epithets and these people were just — they were hypnotized by him. That's, I guess, I guess that's the kind of leader we need today. We need somebody inspirational. We need somebody that is a doer, has been there and done it.”
Here is that exchange:
PETER HUNT (HOST): We've been talking a lot about politics here today, this morning, Carl. And I know that that's obviously near and dear to your heart. And you've taken, you've taken real action. And a lot — like you were saying earlier, many people don't voice their opinion or just become, see it as utter futility. How do you rouse the population? How do you get people thinking about the possibility of change here in New York state and what that might mean for our, for everyone here?
CARL PALADINO: I was thinking the other day about somebody had mentioned on the radio Adolf Hitler and how he aroused the crowds. And he would get up there screaming these epithets and these people were just — they were hypnotized by him. That's, I guess, I guess that's the kind of leader we need today. We need somebody inspirational. We need somebody that is a doer, has been there and done it, so that it’s not a strange new world to him. I look around at the politicians that we've elected locally and I, I just can’t [unintelligible] on a federal level, I can't get comfortable with the RINO-ism. And on a state level, we — our Republicans are sound asleep. They're not an anti-government group. They don't get up with new press releases to comment on this issue, comment on that issue. I mean, there should be a debate going on in the newspaper every day.
Paladino’s remark about Hitler came roughly 38 minutes into the show, which ran for approximately 49 and a half minutes. He did not return to talking about Hitler.
In 2010, Paladino compared support for gay marriage to the evils of Nazi Germany. During those remarks, Paladino said that “there are some things in this world that we must all be angry about. During World War II, all decent people were angry at Hitler's extermination of six million Jews in the gas chambers of Aushwitz.”