Former New York governor and NYC comptroller candidate Eliot Spitzer appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews on Monday and perhaps gave his most honest assessment yet on the messy race for New York City mayor. Spitzer, whose relationship with a high-end prostitution service ended his governorship in 2008, has been reluctant to weigh in on Anthony Weiner’s behavior or his campaign for mayor.
Hardball host Chris Matthews challenged Spitzer to show that he’s different from “most politicians” and pressed him for an answer on whether he would be voting for Anthony Weiner and if Weiner is fit for the city’s top job.
“You’re not going to vote for Anthony Weiner, can you just say that?” Matthews asked. “You don’t think he should be mayor of New York?”
“Fair point,” Spitzer responded. “That is correct.”
“He should not be Mayor of New York?” Matthews asked again.
“That is correct,” Spitzer said.
Matthews also asked Spitzer, if in his oversight capacity as the city comptroller, he would prosecute a case like Anthony Weiner’s.
“If a [city] public official used his office equipment to engage in the kind of past time that Anthony Weiner has been involved in for the last couple of years, would you fire him?” Matthews asked.
“I think the answer is yes,” Spitzer said.
Spitzer abruptly exited the public stage in 2008, keeping a relatively low profile for nearly five years, but now Spitzer, once considered to be a potential candidate for president, is seeking to return to public life as the New York City Comptroller—a much less visible position, responsible for auditing the city’s finances and evaluating the performances of city agencies.
“The reality is that I’m seeking a position that is very important to the public,” Spitzer said. “I’m not trying to become the mayor or governor again,” he said.
The man once known as the sheriff of Wall Street for his tough prosecutions of white collar crime and corporate abuses, looked into the camera asking voters to give him a fair shot in his campaign commercial. But will the city, distracted by the behavior of another candidate on the ballot, be forgiving of Spitzer? According to the latest Wall Street Journal-NBC 4 New York-Marist poll, 49% of registered Democrats said they support Mr. Spitzer and 32% said they are backing his opponent, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer