Gov Says Problems Are "Racial," Not About "Race"

But it turns out it's neither, it's about his kid

By Scott Ross
|  Wednesday, Aug 26, 2009  |  Updated 8:15 AM EDT
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Gov Says Problems Are "Racial," Not About "Race"

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Gov. David Paterson inherited a huge mess and has been swimming upstream ever since.

Gov. David Paterson yesterday tried to explain away his claim that the media's attacks against him were because of his race. What he said was the attacks were racial. Got it?

"I didn't make any references to my political problems being related to being treated differently because of race," Paterson said during an appearance at Stony Brook University, reported The New York Times.

"My remarks never say that there is a race element at all. What I did talk about was some negative racial stereotyping which I think has gone on from time to time."

The whole mess started on Friday, when the governor told WWRL-AM radio that criticism of him in the press was proof "that we're not in the post-racial period."

"The reality is the next victim on the list -- and you can see it coming -- is President Barack Obama, who did nothing more than try to reform a health care system," Paterson told the radio station.

Paterson's comments sparked calls, both public and private, from the White House for the governor to leave Obama out of any media race wars.

"But I didn't blame my problems on that, I'm not changing the remarks that I made. I'm just correcting the interpretations of my remarks," said Paterson yesterday.

It turns out that what really had Paterson fired up was an accusation by a local TV reporter that he allowed his "underage" daughter -- she's actually 21 --  to stay out late clubbing.

“We all have a point where our buttons can be pushed,” Paterson said. "And we all know that criticizing the media is something that we try to avoid. And I tried to avoid it, but there was one incident that was personal to me. And I addressed it. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s the end of it.”

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