Entries in Eliot Spitzer (2)


Spitzer Says Lead in Poll Shows Voters Wants ‘Independent Voice’

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who resigned from office due to a sex scandal, said Sunday that his early lead in New York City’s comptroller race shows that voters are beginning to warm to his candidacy.

“I don’t take polls and rely upon them, but the poll numbers reflect that the public is interested in having an independent voice in that position,” Spitzer told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on This Week. “That is what I promise I will be.”

Spitzer resigned in 2008 after he was caught patronizing a high dollar prostitution ring. He announced his candidacy for New York City Comptroller last week, which gave him only four days to collect 3,750 signatures in order to get on the ballot.

A Wall Street Journal poll this week showed Spitzer holding a 42 percent to 33 percent lead over his opponent Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer after only a few days in the race.

Yet Spitzer has been dogged by attacks from his political foes who say breaking the law by paying thousands of dollars for prostitutes disqualifies him from public office.

He dismissed the criticism Sunday.

“Opponents will say all sorts of things, the voters will make that determination,” Spitzer said. “When I talk to citizens and they’re saying: ‘Look, you’ve erred, you looked the public in the eye five years ago, and you said you believe in accountability. You stepped forward and accepted responsibility.’”

“And that is what I did and that is a fundamental point that I think the public should look at,” he added.
Citing his push for driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants, advocacy for low wage workers, and outspokenness on corruption in Wall Street, Spitzer said voters should look at his record and not the scandal that forced his resignation five years ago.

“I have done a fair bit. It’s been five years. I’ve taught, I have written, I have hosted a few TV shows,” Spitzer said. “But I’ve asked the voters of the city for forgiveness, but I’ve also said, look at the totality of my record—the independence of my voice when it came to Wall Street, when it came to standing up for the environment, low wage workers, immigrants.”

Spitzer also called the “not guilty” verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman for the death of Trayvon Martin in Florida, “a failure of justice.”

“The judicial system is not perfect, and in this case it has failed,” said Spitzer, who formerly served as New York’s attorney general. “And before we get into a conversation of whether the prosecution was flawed that it should have handled it in a different way there is a simple reality here, an innocent young man is walking down the street, was confronted by a stranger with a gun and that innocent young man was shot.”

“The criminal justice system should be able to deal with situations like that,” he added.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Eliot Spitzer: KONY 2012 Video Spread Like the Gutenberg Press

Stuart Price/Getty Images (WASHINGTON) -- Former New York governor Eliot Spitzer compared the viral spread of the KONY 2012 video this week to the Gutenberg press, with social media driving information to more people as the first printing press did hundreds of years ago.

“It is an amazing new arena where information flows so much more quickly, rapidly to diverse audiences,” Spitzer said on “This Week” roundtable on Sunday. “This has got to be good for humanity. It’s like the Gutenberg press. Suddenly everyone can see and learn.”

“I think so many issues will be affected by this, from the Arab Spring to taking down a dictator, a terrorist, to political finance. I think it’s amazing,” Spitzer added.

The KONY 2012 viral film campaign by the group Invisible Children has ignited a firestorm online, drawing nearly 100 million views and counting to the 30-minute video critical of Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, and the rebel group Lord’s Resistance Army, which human rights organizations say has terrorized central Africa for years.

The video seeks to bring international attention to Kony, pushing for his arrest by the end of this year.

Republican strategist Mary Matalin said she was surprised when her 13-year-old daughter alerted her to the video this week.

“When my 13-year-old calls me, it’s an emergency on the road, I presume there’s a Jimmy Choo sale, okay? I never expect to hear this,” Matalin said.

Matalin, who recalled that her daughter said Republicans could “get ahead of this story” to draw the youth vote, said she was concerned the video captured young people’s attention “in a way that’s potentially dangerous” because it may over-simplify the issue.

“They don’t have the capacity to at this age to study and research the complexity, and this one is complex,” Matalin said.

Republican strategist Nicolle Wallace said that while “increasing awareness is a good thing,” the KONY 2012 video reminded her of the death of Iranian protester Neda Agha-Soltan in 2009, which was captured on video and seen by millions.

“[It] was an image that broke hearts all around the world, but no action followed. We didn’t press our government to get involved,” Wallace said.

And ABC News senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper raised concerns about inaccuracies in the video, as have many critics online this week.

“There are things in that video that are not factually accurate,” Tapper said. ”He’s not in Uganda, Joseph Kony… There are not 30,000 child soldiers. It’s probably between 150 and 300.”

But Tapper praised the group that produced the video for being able to draw any attention to the issue.

As somebody who tried and failed to get stories on air and to get the public interested when Obama sent 100 special forces to Central Africa… to take on Joseph Kony, as somebody who asked President Obama about this last October, and there was very little interest in getting that question and answer out there for the public, very little interest or awareness by the public, bravo to them,” Tapper said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio