"Which part of the speech you gave to the Jewish community are you apologizing for, Mr. Paladino?" began the Orthodox Jewish Rabbi Yehuda Levin as he withdrew his endorsement of Carl Paladino's gubernatorial campaign on Wednesday. The Rabbi was outraged by the candidate's apology for anti-gay remarks he made over the weekend.
Rabbi Levin represents an umbrella group of ultra-Orthodox leaders who hosted the events where Paladino made the comments. The Rabbi also claimed to be one the writers of the remarks Paladino made on Sunday and said he supported all of them. During one of the Sunday speeches, Paladino stated that children should not be "brainwashed" into thinking homosexuality is acceptable. His words caused an outcry from the gay community and, soon after, Paladino apologized for his inflammatory remarks.
Rabbi Levin said Paladino's apology shows his weakness as a candidate, and asked Paladino to "show his backbone." Speaking to Paladino through the press in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral Wednesday, he said, "How can we depend on you if you folded like a cheap camera?" The Rabbi says he chose the cathedral for his speech so he could implore the Catholic Church to stand up for moral issues and to help guide religious voters who need clarity since Paladino, also a Catholic, has backed down.
Expressing his outrage and disappointment in Paladino's apology to the gay community, Rabbi Levin argued that kids in the schools are indoctrinated with "homosexualist ideas" and called homosexuality part of America's "declining culture."
Rabbi Levin says he will not return his support to the gubernatorial candidate until Paladino gives "more time" to the religious community.