In the midst of swirling rumors of a soon-to-be published bombshell story, New York Gov. David Paterson (D) said Wednesday that criticism of him has been motivated by his race.
Paterson, who is black and blind, said on Imus in the Morning that he has been the subject of "outrageous rumors" the past two weeks centering around a supposedly damaging report to be published in the New York Times this week.
Paterson has endured almost constant criticism since he assumed office in the wake of ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer's (D) resignation in 2008 after it was reported he solicited a prostitute.
The former lieutenant governor Paterson, who faces a tough reelection battle, was subject to scrutiny when soon after he inauguration, he and his wife admitted that they both had extramarital affairs. Rumors surrounding the Times story focused on a possible affair, but Paterson has denied having another one and has said his spokesperson has said he would not resign as a result of the story.
"I’m black, I’m blind, and I’m still alive," Paterson said. "Now how much better do they want me to be?"
This is not the first time Paterson has said his critics are racially tinged.
When it was reported last year that Democratic officials were trying to push him out of this year's election, Paterson said "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 trying to reform a health care system."
Paterson blamed the newest rumors on unnamed political opponents.
“For a person that has such weak poll numbers and hasn’t raised enough money and has diminishing political support, someone is going very far out of their way to see that I’m not a candidate this year," he said. "I don’t know who it is; I just know that it’s a well-orchestrated attempt to do this.
"I think the special interest and that relationship with certain media outlets is creating this scenario that somehow I should not be re-elected."