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[POLIT] Paladino: I "Stepped on My Message"
BY Andy Barr

New York GOP gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino conceded Tuesday that two recent flaps have “stepped” on his message.

Paladino has had a rocky week on the campaign trail, dating back, he said during an interview today, to a public forum on Oct. 5 in which he called the powerful state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver a “crook.” 

The situation was further complicated over the weekend when a Paladino staffer provided the press with prepared remarks for a speech that included a line calling homosexuals “dysfunctional.” Paladino did not deliver the remark, but the prepared text was reported and has plagued the Republican's campaign since. 

Asked how the events have affected his campaign during a radio interview Tuesday on New York’s WOR, Paladino said, “I definitely stepped on my message in the last two weeks, twice.”

Prior to the incidents, Paladino said, “I got my message out there very clearly.”

“Then, I made my statement about Silver and that became more important to the press,” he said.

Paladino then vowed that he would refocus during the remaining weeks of the campaign and emphasize his message of cuts to taxes and state spending.

“Our ads are out there now, and we’ve been on message,” he said. “We intend to stay there. We intend to stay on our message.”

During the WOR interview Tuesday, Paladino did not mention another flap that sparked a lot of press scrutiny — a Sept. 28 comment in which he alleged that his Democratic opponent, Andrew Cuomo, had once had an affair.