Comptroller rivals Eliot Spitzer and Scott Stringer, who have been hurling insults and waging one of the nastiest battles of the election season, today claimed in a televised CBS debate that they’re actually pretty good friends.
Asked by co-moderator Rich Lamb to say something nice about one another, the opponents kicked off a veritable lovefest after weeks of hits.
“Scott and I like each other. We get along. And I think whatever is said in this campaign, I hope afterwards we will be the friends that we were beforehand,” Mr. Spitzer insisted.
Later, Mr. Spitzer jokingly suggested the two would “do a duet next time we’re together” after both refusing to sing a few bars of their favorite songs live on the air.
Mr. Stringer took things even further, saying that “it was never, ever my intention or Eliot’s to say anything that is personal between us. We’ve been friends before this campaign. We’re going to be friends after this campaign … We are definitely going to hang out after this, that I promise you. He’s going to help babysit my two kids.”
But Mr. Stringer may have some explaining to do when he gets home to his wife, Elyse Buxbaum, who sounded rather displeased by the proposition.
“No. Not with my kids,” she tweeted right after the offer.
The exchange, which came about half-way through the debate, was especially jarring given the hostile tone during the first 30-plus minutes, when Mr. Stringer repeatedly bashed the former governor as an out-of-touch lawbreaker living in “an ivory tower” and Mr. Spitzer hit the borough president on terms limits again and again.
“This is about trust,” said Mr. Stringer, who vowed to make his administration 100 percent drama-free. “I will never embarrass this city of New York that I love.” “I’ve said I made mistakes, but I made a difference,” Mr. Spitzer shot back.
Ms. Buxbaum, meanwhile, was apparently much happier with her husband’s answer to the question of whether he, like Mayor Michael Bloomberg, would agree to work for a salary of just $1 a year.
While Mr. Spitzer, who is independently wealthy, took the pledge after a lengthy wind-up that initially suggested otherwise, Mr. Stringer scoffed.
“Absolutely not,” he said, “I need the money, thank you.”
“Right answer,” Ms. Buxbaum tweeted in response.