Rick Lazio, the bank executive and former Congressman who famously lost to Hillary Clinton in the 2000 Senate race, officially bowed out of the 2010 NY governor's race yesterday and lent no support for either remaining major party candidate, "I strongly believe that Andrew Cuomo cannot bring about change, but I remain unconvinced that Carl Paladino will bring the improvement that New Yorkers need, deserve and want." In other words, New York, you're still screwed!
Lazio was upset in the Republican primary by surging Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino, who has Tea Party leanings and a "mad-as-hell" persona. Lazio insinuated Paladino's anger was not the most constructive, "Neither raw emotion nor empty slogans and false promises are the solution. I understand that people are angry. I get the whole primal scream thing, and they’ve got a right to be angry. [But what was needed was] the experience and the ability to make the changes that have been promised.” And Paladino and Cuomo don't have what it takes: "I hear lots of slogans, and I hear lots of macho talk, but I don’t see a plan."
What Lazio, who also criticized Paladino's demeaning remarks about the poor and immigrants, did win during the primary was the Conservative party line. With his exit, Paladino's spokesman said, "Carl has the highest respect for Rick Lazio as a person and a public official and we all wish him well in his future endeavors. Carl is seeking Conservative Party support which is a decision for the Party leadership in the days ahead." Cuomo's spokesman countered, "Today's decision by Rick Lazio and the Conservative Party means that the choice in this election is now more clear and more stark than ever. The spotlight is now on the choice between the tea party extremism of Carl Paladino or Andrew Cuomo's record of fighting corruption, standing up for a woman's right to choose, and his detailed plans to create jobs for New Yorkers."
And because we were waiting for this, Sarah Palin Tweeted, "Rick Lazio: u r Commonsense Conservatives (& other freedom-loving NY'rs) hero today. Thanks 4 selfless act 2 allow your great state 2 thrive"