Elise Stefanik-backed Republican straight up praises Hitler: "The kind of leader we need today"

Carl Paladino, who is running for Congress, also shared post suggesting Uvalde and Buffalo shootings were fake

By Jon Skolnik

Staff Writer

Published June 9, 2022 1:29PM (EDT)

American businessman Carl Paladino (KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)
American businessman Carl Paladino (KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)

Carl Paladino, a New York Republican congressional candidate, took to the airwaves last year to praise Adolf Hitler's leadership style, arguing that the Nazi dictator is "the kind of leader we need today."

Paladino's freshly unearthed remarks flagged by Media Matters came in an interview last February with WBEN, a radio station based in his hometown of Buffalo, New York. 

"I was thinking the other day about – somebody had mentioned on the radio Adolf Hitler and how he aroused the crowds," Paladino said at the time. "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."

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Hitler, who had a well-documented knack for enrapturing his followers during the German Reich, is responsible for carrying out the Holocaust, where roughly 11 million people, including 6 million Jews, were mass murdered in a racial and ethnic genocide. 

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Paladino, whose campaign is backed by House Republican Conference chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., has over the years become notorious for making outlandish and inflammatory remarks.

In 2016, Paladino tweeted that then-New York Attorney General Loretta Lynch, a Black woman, should be "lynched."

"Lynch @LorettaLynch let the Grand Jury decide," he wrote in a since-deleted tweeted. 

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A year later, Paladino was forced out of his position on the Buffalo School Board over 2016 comments in which he stated that he'd like to see President Barack Obama die of mad cow disease as a result of fornicating with British cattle. Paladino also said that he wanted to see Michelle Obama, America's first Black first lady, "return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla."

More recently, this year, the congressional candidate shared a Facebook post suggesting that the recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas were false flag affairs orchestrated by Democrats who want to "revoke the 2nd amendment and take away guns," as Media Matters reported. There is no evidence that either shooting was staged.

Paladino initially claimed he could not remember sharing the post.

"I don't even know how to post on Facebook," he said, before admitting a day later that he shared the post because it was posted by a "friend."

Paladino jumped into the race to represent New York's 27th Congressional District after Rep. Chris Jacobs, R-N.Y., dropped out of the race just days after backing gun control in response to the Buffalo mass shooting.

"We have a problem in our country in terms of both our major parties. If you stray from a party position, you are annihilated," Jacobs said. "For the Republicans, it became pretty apparent to me over the last week that that issue is gun control. Any gun control."

By Jon Skolnik

Jon Skolnik was a former staff writer at Salon.

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