Carl Paladino appeared on National Public Radio Wednesday morning and described supporters of Donald Trump as people frustrated with government who “want the raccoons out of the basement.”
“Morning Edition” host David Greene asked Paladino, a member of Trump’s New York primary campaign team, to respond to Trump critics who say the Republican front-runner “uses so-called ‘scare tactics.’” Greene then tried to ask Paladino for an example of a Trump proposal, but Paladino interjected.
“The press has to get over that, OK? If you’re looking to find a flaw or a gaffe, you’re going to find it. In anybody,” Paladino said via cell phone while heading back to Buffalo from Trump’s victory celebration in New York City on Tuesday night.
“The essence of the man is that he’s speaking to the people and he speaks directly to them and he engages them. People that get on this bus, on the Trump bus, are people that are very, very frustrated with their government as [inaudible]. That’s the most important thing. It doesn’t matter what kind of person is the exterminator, OK? They want the raccoons out of the basement.”
Greene jumped in immediately.
“We’ll have to stop there. Carl Paladino, thank you very much for joining us,” he said.
Earlier in the interview, Paladino described what’s happening in the presidential race as “a political revolution” involving getting rid of “the establishment class” within the Republican Party and ridding Washington, D.C., of “the Washington elite monsters.”
Paladino also criticized President Obama, saying the American people have had to tolerate what he termed the president’s incompetence and biases.
“A man who in every respect looks like he despises America is the leader of America,” Paladino said. “And this is disgusting. He’s so into himself that he just can’t help himself.”
Paladino did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment.
In June 2015, Paladino commented during a political rally in Olean about “damn Asians” and other “foreigners” attending the University at Buffalo.
Paladino also defended a then-Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority commissioner who used the “N-word” to describe several African-American politicians, including Mayor Byron W. Brown.
In his run for governor in 2010, Paladino received national attention for circulating what some considered as racist and sexist emails.
Listen to NPR’s entire 4-minute interview here.