Carl Paladino picked up a key endorsement today from Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer. Paladino, a Tea Party Republican, is running for Governor in New York.
Speaking at the Ellicott Center in Buffalo, Schumer spoke warmly of the candidate: "Carl Paladino has been my best supporter in western New York. Whether I need a roast beef sandwich or a $1000 campaign contribution, I know I can always count on him."
Paladino returned the favor: "Chuck is my go-to guy. Whenever we need a tax break or a federal agency to lease some space in our buildings, we call Chuck and he gets the job done. We need more like him in Washington."
While some in the Tea Party movement questioned Paladino working with the liberal Schumer, leaders defended him. "This just shows that Carl can reach across party lines," said Buffalo Tea Party organizer Rus Thompson. Paladino himself dismissed the criticism as "just another liberal smear."
Democrats were also puzzled, as most assumed Schumer would support Andrew Cuomo. Schumer reassured them, noting that Paladino would "flame out" before the primary and that he would back Cuomo in the general election.