MANCHESTER, N.H. --Who needs a super PAC to run attack ads when you have Carl effin' Paladino on your side?
The renegade New York Republican who ran for governor in 2010 is back, and he's jumped on the Newt bandwagon to extend a hand to the campaign's efforts in the Empire State. Paladino swung by Manchester this weekend to get a feel for Gingrich's ground game here, and he spoke with Yahoo News at a Spanish restaurant where Gingrich addressed Hispanic voters on Sunday.
In contrast with Gingrich's efforts to stay "positive" this cycle, Paladino, who is not officially affiliated with the campaign, has no trouble playing the attack dog.
"You heard heard Huntsman last night? 'Oh my God, China's so strong! What the f**k is a matter with these people?," Paladino said of the GOP debate on Saturday. "That was nonsense. You know, he should go live in China if he feels that way. We buy all their godd**n goods and when we put tariffs on, they're going to come to their knees. That's bullsh*t."
Paladino, a tea party man who pulled off a stunning upset in the New York Republican primary elections in 2010 against "establishment" candidate and former Rep. Rick Lazio, is not known for keeping his thoughts to himself, even if they could spell trouble for him. In 2010, he vowed to fight to keep children from being "brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option," as traditional marriage and once famously told a reporter, "I'll take you out, buddy" when he didn't take kindly to the line of questioning.
It's two years, later, and Paladino hasn't changed a bit. If he doesn't like you, he tells you. And he'll make it clear--in his own salty way--that he doesn't like anybody running for the Republican nomination except for Newt.
"Ron Paul's going to get on the mothership and go back to his mother planet," Paladino said, when asked about his thoughts on the primary field. "Perry wants a job, he's going to go to the shooting range and hang around there for a while. This is nonsense. It's all bulls**t."
And don't even get him started on Mitt Romney, who he compared to former President George W. Bush, "a nothing, a terrible president" and a "nightmare."
"He's plastic, he's shallow, he's going nothing going on. He's a chameleon. He wants to be whatever he has to be to be president of the United States," he said. "He'll play the same old establishment game. The illusion, the distraction, the nonsense we've been suffering through all of these years."
"I've had enough of that crap," he went on to say, in case his listener might have misse the point.
Gingrich, on the other hand, well, he's got what it takes, in Paladino's view. Paladino compared the onetime House Speaker to former President Lyndon Johnson who "got a lot of things cleaned up" and "had a long history in Congress as a Senator and he knew how to work'em." A tough guy on the outside, but a perhaps a softy at heart, Paladino was especially moved when Gingrich cried before the Iowa caucuses. It was a moment that touched him. "He got emotional thinking about his mom," Paladino said. "I think that's awesome. That's strength of character when you see that."
As Paladino listed Gingrich's attributes in the restaurant, a reporter asked about the time when Gingrich publicly endorsed establishment candidate Dede Scozzafava in a New York special election over the tea party contender.
"Listen, you have any flaws in your life? You're a f**k-up!" he replied. "Let's stop the nonsense. Let's talk about the man. . . . The people aren't interested in it but the press for some reason thinks they gotta go and shove a telephone pole up his back."
New York is slated to hold its primary election on April 24. "Newt will be the last guy standing," Paladino predicted.
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