Sure, he sent racist emails, scuffled with a reporter over his not-so-secret 'love child', and dished on his opponent's "legendary" sex life, but Carl Paladino is a (self-proclaimed) "values candidate," here to protect the children. Being gay is "not the example that we should be showing our children," he told a group of Hasidic Jewish leaders in Brooklyn yesterday. "I don't want [children] brainwashed into thinking homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option—it isn't," the Republican said.
The tea party-backed candidate went further, blasting Andrew Cuomo for attending a gay pride parade with his daughter. But Paladino insists he's no bigot: "Don't misquote me as wanting to hurt homosexual people in any way," he said. "My approach is live and let live." George Stephanopoulos notes that it's what Paladino didn't say that's really landing him in hot water: His prepared text included the line "There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual," but he crossed it out and didn't say it. The group he spoke to later distributed the prepared remarks, which included that line.
(Read more Carl Paladino stories.)