Embattled GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino is not shrinking from his e-mail scandal. He held a press conference in Buffalo this afternoon at which he sought to explain the situation to reporters in his usual plainspoken way.

Standing outside the Ellicott Square Building – where, exactly one week ago today, he launched his outsider campaign for governor – Paladino did not denounce the content of the e-mails, many of which were sexually or racially explicit.

He did, however, apologize to any of the “ladies” he might have offended, and accept responsibility for his actions. He also said he would welcome the votes of any men – just men, mind you – who, like him, opened inappropriate e-mails.

I confess to being human and imperfect as are all God’s children,” Paladino said. “I’m not a racist, and I say that even in some of the e-mails that they hacked from my computer. ”

“I am proud that I’ve created hundreds of jobs and opportunity for people of every ethnicity, color and sexual preference. It’s my extended family in Western New York.”

“To any of the ladies I’ve offended, I apologize.  I say this to the men out there who have never opened a graphic image on the Internet: Don’t vote for me. For those who have, I welcome your vote.”

“This is not about my personal life this is about returning honest and leadership to Albany.”

Paladino would not say he should not have sent the e-mails, but did say that he regrets “having been somewhat careless in the way that I re-sent e-mails I received.

“I didn’t orginated any of these e-mails….I sent it to a very specific bunch of friends who somewhat enjoy that.”

UPDATE: Video of Paladino’s comments appears after the jump.