Former Governor Eliot Spitzer and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, the Democratic candidates for city comptroller, had plenty of attacks for one another as they faced off in a live debate on Monday that aired on NY1. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
Monday night's comptroller debate live on NY1 was anything but cordial.
Scott Stringer and Eliot Spitzer may want to be the next city comptroller, but on the stage, much of the focus veered from how to manage the city's multi-billion-dollar pension system. Instead, Spitzer and Stringer honed in on how each person has managed their pasts.
"Here we were, struggling to get food and blankets to people in NYCHA housing, send supplies to Coney Island, go to Breezy Point, and what were you saying on that TV show that you got $2 million for? You were criticizing us as we were in the streets," Stringer said. "You were telling us we weren't doing enough. But you didn't get your hands dirty."
In response, Spitzer said, "I got my hands dirty for 10 years as attorney general, as governor," to which Stringer replied, "That you did. That's true."
Stringer once again attacked Spitzer's resignation, while the former governor tried to paint a different picture, one that he thinks will resonate with voters.
"When you came to Albany, we thought that you would take it to the next level, and you failed," Stringer said.
"The reason we had a third term is because the political establishment, with Scott's support and participation, gave the mayor a third term," Spitzer said.
Money, of course, was a hot topic, but not necessarily the city's coffers. There was a lot of talk about Spitzer's self-financed candidacy.
"You want to self-fund," Stringer said. "You're the biggest real estate donor to yourself."
The independently wealthy Spitzer has already spent more than $2.5 million to run for comptroller. During the same time period, Stringer spent just $173,000.
Spitzer, who once called himself a steamroller, attempted to establish himself as an independent, with Stringer as an entrenched Democrat.
"The public is now looking at the totality of my record, and they are saying, 'We want you to come back to fight for us,'" Spitzer said
It's unclear, though, if that is completely true.
The debate immediately followed a new Siena College poll. It found that 59 percent of state voters have an unfavorable view of Spitzer.