Since he threw his hat in the race for comptroller of New York City two weeks ago, former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer has embarked on a furious national media tour. Thursday served as the most brutal day of that tour, when he had interviews with both CNN’s Jake Tapper and Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert.
First up in the afternoon, Tapper questioned Spitzer on the hypocrisy of never being charged with breaking a law he signed when he was forced to resign amid a prostitution scandal in 2008.
Here is how Tapper started off the interview:
“I want to start back in 2008. What you did was incredibly reckless and perhaps more importantly, it was very illegal, as you know — a Class E felony, paying for sex, a law you signed, bumping it up to Class E.
“When was the last time you broke that law? 2008?”
“That is correct,” Spitzer replied.
Tapper also grilled Spitzer about a controversy that has simmered over the past week about his tax returns. And Tapper asked the personal question of whether Spitzer’s wife, Silda, was standing behind his campaign and whether she would be “by [his] side” if he wins the race.
“You know, I haven’t been thinking about election night,” Spitzer said. “I’ve been thinking about tomorrow. I’ve been thinking about a long road between here and there, but let me answer your question so you don’t think I’m trying to avoid it.
“My family is supportive. I expect, yes, she will be — the family will be out there. She signed a petition, gathered petitions.”
Spitzer’s interview with Colbert later in the day produced a few very long, awkward pauses. The first came when Colbert asked Spitzer to explain the job of comptroller and then followed up with, “Shouldn’t the job of comptroller go to someone who has shown a modicum of self-comptrol?”
Spitzer said in response that New Yorkers should trust him because of the “totality of my record.” Later, as an aside, Colbert mentioned Spitzer’s “fall from grace — or whatever her name was.”
At the end of the interview, Colbert asked him about the slew of recent comebacks from scandal-plagued politicians, including New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner and South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford.
“It seems that voters are more forgiving than they used to be,” Colbert said. “Do you think that signals progress for our country, or the slow decay of our moral values?”
Spitzer laughed the question off — at which point, Colbert declared, “This ain’t Charlie Rose, motherf—er!”
Here’s the Tapper interview:
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