Morning Joe, 7/9/13, 8:20 AM ET

Spitzer: ‘I have spent five years reflecting, thinking and apologizing’

In an emotional interview, the former New York governor, who is now running for city comptroller, explains why he’s ready to ask for forgiveness and hopefully make a return to public office.

5 years of pain changed me, says tearful Spitzer

Updated

Choking back tears, former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer said his fall from grace changed him.

“You go through that pain, you change,” Spitzer said tearfully, recalling his resignation after news broke that he’d patronized a high-end prostitution ring in 2008.

Spitzer on Sunday opened a bid to become New York City’s next comptroller, stressing his record as an attorney general who took on Wall Street. Spitzer, 54, is the latest in a long stream of scandalized politicians seeking redemption and a return to public office.

“I have spent five years reflecting, thinking, apologizing. I am ready to ask for forgiveness,”he said on Tuesday’s Morning Joe in a grueling interview. “It’s not easy, but I’m ready to ask.”

As for whether his transgressions disqualify for him from being New York’s next comptroller, Spitzer deferred to the electorate.

“I will let the public make that determination,” he said.

5 years of pain changed me, says tearful Spitzer

Updated