New York Gov. David Paterson (D) on Tuesday chastised GOP gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino for his comments on homosexuality, saying that he should not be the one to make "morality lectures."
The fiery Paladino, who faces Democratic attorney general Andrew Cuomo in the general election, came under fire this week for making a controversial statement about gays in a weekend speech to a group of Orthodox Jews.
Paterson, who replaced former Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) after he resigned in the wake of a prostitution scandal, appeared to refer to Paladino's admission that he fathered a child out of wedlock.
“I don’t think either of us needs a morality lecture from Mr. Paladino as to how to run our families," Paterson told reporters. "But once again, as a candidate, when you’re trying to demonstrate leadership, who are you to be judging? That’s the whole issue of fair treatment for gay and lesbian bisexual and transgendered citizens."
The personal conduct of New York's gubernatorial nominees has become a front-and-center part of the campaign.
Paterson has had tense relations with Cuomo during his governorship as a result of an investigation into his office, but came to his defense this week for attending a gay pride parade that Paladino criticized.
The Republican came under fire after he said over the weekend that he does not want children "to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid or successful option. It isn't." He also called "disgusting" the conduct of participants at the New York City gay pride parade that Cuomo and Paterson attended several months ago.
Paladino on Monday blamed Cuomo for stirring up the
story and insisted that he is not homophobic.
Paterson, however, experienced criticism when his wife and he revealed just days after he assumed office that they had extramarital affairs.
The GOP nominee and Buffalo-area businessman also accused Cuomo of having an affair during his 13-year marriage to Kerry Kennedy, an allegation that Cuomo's campaign denied.
Cuomo leads Paladino by double-digits in most polls.
WATCH (courtesy of YNN):