(WASHINGTON) -- Carl Paladino, the Republican candidate for governor in New York, has seen his campaign distracted for weeks by stories about racy e-mails he’s sent, extramarital affairs he’s had, and comments he’s made that seem to disparage gays and lesbians.
On ABC’s Top Line Thursday, Paladino said he’s done talking about those stories.
Asked about a confrontation he had with a New York Post reporter, where Paladino told the reporter “I’ll take you out,” he said he had nothing to apologize for – and then launched into a discussion of his plans for cutting Medicaid.
“I don't apologize for that. Absolutely not. And now we're going to go on,” Paladino said. “We're going to tell you about Medicaid. Our Medicaid is totally out of whack with reality.”
And asked why he read from a prepared text that was handed to him over the weekend – where he blasted his Democratic rival, Andrew Cuomo, for marching in a gay pride parade – Paladino cut off the question. “I'm done with that one too,” he said. “It's really done. If you want to know what we're going to do about government corruption, I'm going to appoint a special prosecutor from day one and a special prosecutor....The issue has been gone over and over. We're not talking about it anymore. I'm done.”
Paladino said the issues being raised about him aren’t important to New York voters. He said, “The press has pressed on those issues and they think the people are interested,” he said. “We think that people are more interested in overburdened government spending, taxes, government corruption, Medicaid out of control, the lack of interest in jobs and the lack of a plan to create new jobs. That's what the people are interested in today.”
He promised vast changes to Albany as governor, including deep reductions in the state workforce.
“I'm going to win, and four years from now thing are going to be very different. You're going to have a government that’s of the people, by the people and for the people,” Paladino said. “You're going to have an actually representative republic in the New York state legislature. Legislators actually reading bills before they sign them. Legislators actually debating issues and having input before the final decisions. Legislators that aren't working a day and a half a week, but five days a day, every day for the full year in order to earn those 100 percent pensions, in order to earn those 100 percent benefits that they want."
He continued, “2,751 staff members today, maybe a thousand then. In the executive branch, we'll probably get rid of about 20 percent of the agencies, the divisions, the directorates in our state government today. Agencies that are no longer viable in the 20th century.”
Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio