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Spitzer Asks Forgiveness In New TV As Women Advocates Back Stringer

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Eliot Spitzer is admitting in his TV campaign ad for his city comptroller campaign that he messed up during his prostitution scandal, but his words did not seem to move a number of prominent women's rights groups, which backed Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer for comptroller on Monday. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.

Eliot Spitzer's latest commercial for his city comptroller bid begins with an acknowledgement of his prostitution scandal.

"Look, I failed. Big time. I hurt a lot of people," he says.

At 60 seconds, it is the second spot in Spitzer's redemption bid. Aides say it will run at the same time as the first ad, which turned heads for avoiding the issue entirely.

Aides say both ads were meant to be released about the same time. An "I'm sorry" wasn't needed in the first ad, considering how much apologizing Spitzer was doing on TV.

Spitzer's rival for the nomination, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, says the former governor should also be begging forgiveness for his time leading the state.

Stringer's campaign says in a statement, "Eliot Spitzer's real failure was a governorship that left Albany more broken than when he arrived. It's clearer and clearer that for Eliot Spitzer, this campaign is not about the needs and struggles of New York's middle class – it's all about Eliot Spitzer."

Stringer rolled out endorsements Monday from three powerful women's groups -- New York chapters of the National Organization for Women, NARAL Pro-Choice and Planned Parenthood -- and the state's top elected woman lawmaker, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

The senator was in Washington on Monday, but her statement calls Stringer "clearly the best choice."

Gillibrand and Spitzer are not on good terms. Shortly after Gillibrand's appointment to the Senate by Spitzer's successor, Spitzer disparaged her as "too malleable."

The senator's statement did not mention Spitzer, but Sonia Ossorio, the president of the city's NOW chapter, did.

"If we've learned anything about Eliot Spitzer, it's what he says and he does are two different things," Ossorio said.

When it comes to Spitzer, Stringer is in an unusual spot. When the campaign began, he signaled he would not be talking about prostitution, even the illegality of it. Stringer has still not, personally, but his campaign's surrogates increasingly are.

"Everybody comes with an ability and a right to articulate how they feel about me and about my opponent, so I'm sticking to what I'm going to talk about. I don't want to get into Eliot Spitzer's mishigas," Stringer said Monday.

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