In the midst of the rising chatter that has erupted since Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer launched their comeback campaigns for citywide offices, most of their rivals have stayed mum on the sex scandals that led to their initial downfalls.
But City Comptroller John Liu, who is running against Mr. Weiner for mayor and holds the office that Mr. Spitzer is now running for, addressed both scandals directly for the first time Monday afternoon after accepting an endorsement from the National Latino Officers Association on the steps of City Hall.
After giving his remarks, Mr. Liu set up the exchange, jokingly asking, “What other questions could there be?”
To no one’s surprise, there were quite a few. But what was surprising was how Mr. Liu used Mr. Spitzer’s entry into the race as an opportunity to aggressively confront both the former governor as well as Mr. Weiner.
“I don’t think it damages the reputation of the political system. I think on some level, this is a huge affront to women in New York City and far beyond. If you think about what these two individuals have been responsible for, and to continue the denigration of the women they’ve been involved with, this is–it just doesn’t smell right,” Mr. Liu said.
When Politicker asked whether he thought Mr. Spitzer and his Democratic rival, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, were qualified to succeed him in office, Mr. Liu reiterated his fiery disapproval of the conduct of the pair of scandal-scarred pols.
“That’s up for the people of this great city to decide,” said Mr. Liu, as a campaign aide urged him to steer the conversation back to the endorsement. “But at some point, between Spitzer and Weiner, it just seems like the women of this city should be incensed. I can’t claim to be a woman, but I’m incensed for the sheer disrespect that this–the calls for redemption this year have been–have taken taken place in this city.”
The Spitzer and Weiner campaigns did not immediately respond to requests for comment in response to Mr. Liu’s remarks.