Screenshot, CNBCEliot Spitzer is on Squawk Box this morning — not his most loved audience, as he was the Sheriff of Wall Street back in the day.
So let's not preamble. First question came from Andrew Ross Sorkin and it was not a joke.
"Would you trust a felon to manage your money?"
Spitzer, the consummate politician, flipped the question. He said that New Yorkers should look at his record as a reformer, "I was one of the more prescient voices on Wall Street ... criticized by National Review for saying that we should rein in national debt ... I didn't buy into the "new paradigm," he added.
Things only got worse form there. Sorkin pointed out that Spitzer was the state's top cop but broke the law. ... Spitzer responded with more about redemption, yadda, yadda, and then this gem from Sorkin:
"Can you unequivocally say you haven't been with a prostitute?"
Spitzer said "Yes ... eventually the questions about my private life will have to defer to the issues of this campaign."
But it wasn't going to be this morning. After Sorkin was done with his questioning, Joe Kernen stepped in, "You were Gov of NY, do you just want to be controller or be Governor again? ... Hookers, infidelity, we read about it, I don't want to sit in judgement. ... It's almost as if someone wonders if there's a screw loose and wonders if that could happen again," said Kernen
"Hubris is terminal," said Spitzer in response. "I think the learning process is recognizing that and learning from it."
But Joe wasn't done. He interjected, "I'm not hurt like people that were close to you ... but it's almost like a Shakespearean thing."
Spitzer did have a chance to explain (briefly) why he wanted to be NYC Comptroller. He said, "I have been speaking about the role that the comptroller plays for years ... as institutional investors," adding that he wanted to "reinvigorate" the office.
Oh, and for all you Wall Streeters, Kernen did ask Spitzer if he would be a "kinder, gentler" Comptroller than he was Attorney General.
The short answer was yes; the long answer: "I want to make something really clear ... It was never personal for me. Never once," said Spitzer. "We were seeking to establish certain principles for governemnt, that was it ... I like these guys. They may not want to have lunch with me ... but I never dislike people."
So that could've been worse, right?
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- Eliot Spitzer
- Andrew Ross Sorkin