New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has responded to statements made by businessman Carl Paladino, his former rival in the 2010 gubernatorial election. Paladino, whose campaign emphasized regressive fiscal reform and was endorsed by the Tea Party movement, sparked controversy after he told reporters he would like to see President Barack Obama die of mad cow disease and compared First Lady Michelle Obama to a gorilla.
"Paladino has a long history of racist and incendiary comments. While most New Yorkers know Mr. Paladino is not to be taken seriously, as his erratic behavior defies any rational analysis and he has no credibility, his words are still jarring," Cuomo said in a statement. "His remarks do not reflect the sentiments or opinions of any real New Yorker and he has embarrassed the good people of the state with his latest hate-filled rage."