Stringer Labels Spitzer Administration ‘Total and Complete Failure’

Scott Stringer baring claws in El Barrio.

Scott Stringer at today’s press conference

The claws have officially come out in the city comptroller’s race.

At a press conference devoted to revealing a new banking plan in East Harlem this afternoon, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer continued to wage an all-out verbal assault against his headline-grabbing rival, ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer.

“I look forward to comparing my record in the Assembly–where I wrote important laws combating domestic violence, where I actually initiated real reform ending empty seat voting in Albany–and contrasting it with Eliot Spitzer’s governorship, which was a total and complete failure,” Mr. Stringer told reporters. “He blew up the capital, left the next governor with a $16 million deficit at a time when New Yorkers, middle income people were really struggling.”

Struggling to make his voice audible over the sporadic traffic on 2nd Avenue, Mr. Stringer, a former state assemblyman, was responding to Mr. Spitzer taking a swipe this morning at his alleged lack of accomplishments in Albany.

“It took Governor Cuomo to come back and straighten out so much of this fiscal positioning,” Mr. Stringer added. “I just think it’s incredible that Eliot Spitzer wants to have a discussion about comparing my Albany record with his dysfunction as governor. And I’m happy to have that debate and I look forward to it.”

Mr. Stringer also reacted today to Mr. Spitzer’s constant presence late-night television shows. Seemingly unfazed by the former governor’s sudden reemergence on the campaign trail, Mr. Stringer assured Politicker that he too would have his shot at talk-show television.

“I guess it’s fun to be on comedy shows. You know, Leno and all that,” he said. “But I’m in the streets. I’m here in El Barrio today, I’m releasing real concrete proposals. And sure some day when I win, I will be on Letterman, I know that. But I’m not there now … He can go to all these shows–he’s not doing so well on these shows to begin with. Let him have those shows and I’ll be in the streets.”

When Politicker pressed Mr. Stringer as to whether he too would appear on late-night television if offered a spot, he quipped, “I would have to speak to my agent.”

Update (4:12 p.m.): Mr. Spitzer’s spokesman, Hari Sevugan, issued the following response to Mr. Stringer’s attack:

“Whether it was taking on organized crime and government corruption as
a prosecutor, taking on unethical Wall Street practices as Attorney
General, or leading the fight to ensure exploited, undocumented
immigrants had a real chance with driver’s licenses as Governor, Eliot
Spitzer has spent his career taking on the big fights, while others
sat-by silently. That’s what this election is about – who has the
courage to take on the special interests to protect your money – and
we’ll continue to talk about that throughout the campaign.”