The Democratic candidates for comptroller smiled and punched their way through their first debate yesterday. Hosted by WABC-TV 7, along with co-hosts Noticias 41 Univision, the Daily News and the League of Women Voters of the City of New York, it was the first campaign encounter between Scott Stringer and Eliot Spitzer. The race is essentially a referendum on Eliot Spitzer, both his past and his prospective suitability for the comptroller’s office, and both candidates approached the debate that way. Stringer repeatedly raised Spitzer’s prostitution scandal, with additional attacks on his shortcomings as governor. Spitzer countered by focusing on his record as attorney general, particularly his Wall Street cases.
At the conclusion of the debate, both candidates separately answered media questions.
Here is Eliot Spitzer’s full availability. It begins with a little bit of a media rush, prompting Spitzer to remark that “this feels like Union Square again.” Once things were sorted out (and our camera in place), Spitzer answered questions on topics such as Scott Stringer’s attacks, how much money Spitzer actually plans to spend on the campaign and criticism from Crain’s.
In this excerpt from Scott Stringer’s availability he answers questions from Josh Robin of NY1 and Marcia Kramer of WCBS-TV concerning Stringer’s initial pledge to not discuss Spitzer’s “personal life” and his more recent move to focus on Spitzer’s patronizing of prostitutes five years ago. As Stringer notes, “maybe I have a different view of what constitutes personal life.”
Here is the full recording of Scott Stringer’s media availability.