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Paterson: Paladino Unfit for Public Service

New York Gov. David Paterson lashed out today at the Republican running to replace him. Speaking at a conference sponsored by The Wall Street Journal, Paterson said Carl Paladino is not fit to hold public office. The governor cited graphic and racially offensive e-mails Paladino sent to friends before launching his campaign.

Michael Caputo, Paladino's campaign manager, responded to Paterson's remarks by releasing a harshly worded statement. "The attack on Carl Paladino by David Paterson, the most corrupt and incompetent Governor in New York history, is laughable," Caputo said. "He is symbolic of everything that is wrong with Albany. Paterson demeans his office further by resorting to these personal attacks."

At a press conference in Lower Manhattan, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo declined to answer repeated questions over whether he thinks Paladino's emails were offensive, or if the man who sent them is fit for office.

"From my point of view as a candidate in the race, I think the opinion that is most relevant to me is the opinion of the voters and I'm going to leave it to the voters to make their own decision and I don't think they need a characterization from me," Cuomo said.

Among Paladino's controversial remarks, he says he wants to take "a bat" to Albany. Cuomo, in announcing the lastest million-dollar settlement in his ongoing pension fraud investigation, says the public has a right to be angry.

"Look at the case like the case we're doing today," Cuomo said. "They're stealing money while the taxpayers can't afford to pay anymore and they are right to be frustrated."

Cuomo said he is open to a debate with Paladino, and that the two campaigns will discuss the matter today.