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Spitzer Says Hubris Took Him Down

By    |   Tuesday, 09 July 2013 12:03 PM EDT

Eliot Spitzer hopes New York City voters will forgive his human mistakes and give him a second chance in politics because of  his strong government experience.

The disgraced former New York said Sunday he would run for New York City comptroller. On Monday, he said he accepted the heckling, name-calling, and second-guessing already coming his way.

Coming to tears, he told "Morning Joe's" Mika Brzezinski Tuesday that it was "hubris" that took him down but he believed voters were a forgiving group.

Story continues below video.

People, he said, should judge him on the totality of his life and long career in public service.

"I failed. I had flaws, made horrific judgment, was unfaithful to my family, to the electorate," Spitzer said on the MSNBC program. "That's why I resigned…. Five years have gone by, and I now think after five years I can go to the public and look at the totality of who I am.

"I'm trying to separate the personal from the substantive," he said.

Spitzer resigned as governor in 2008 after revelations that while governor and New York attorney general he used the services of a high-priced prostitution ring.

Since then, he said, he has reflected on his mistakes and has successfully run his family's business.

Spitzer said his business skills and understanding of capital markets qualify him to be comptroller in a city that needs a financial leg up.

Appearing Monday on MSNBC's "Hardball," he declined to discuss the prostitution scandal.

"I am not the right person" to talk about prostitution issues, he said, choosing instead to focus to his record, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

"When I was governor, I was proud of the fact, and this is what caused attention, that we passed much tougher human-trafficking laws. And I think the problem is that prostitution is, in fact, it is integrally related with other parts of criminal activity that is fundamentally wrong, dangerous, violative on any dimension," Spitzer said.

His message, however, often was drowned out during his first campaign stop Monday. Hecklers peppered him with crass comments about condom use and wearing "black socks," The Daily Beast reported.

Spitzer seemed ready.

"This is New York. We go to the ballpark, we heckle a pitcher who throws one bad pitch. So, you know, I sympathize with the hecklers," Spitzer said later.

"We have a little bit of a heckler in each one of us. At a certain point, it's past the line of decorum, but, you know, this is New York. This is politics. I have skin as thick as a rhinoceros.”

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Eliot Spitzer says his comeback bid comes down to whether the voters of New York will forgive his human mistakes and view his strong government experience as enough to give him a second chance in politics.
Tuesday, 09 July 2013 12:03 PM
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