CNBC Lambastes Spitzer: ‘You Know the Difference, Right, From Right and Wrong?’

by Andrew Johnson

After he had an emotional appearance on MSNBC yesterday, Eliot Spitzer faced a tougher line of questioning on the channel’s sister network. On CNBC, the business network hosts grilled the new candidate for New York City comptroller on his prostitution scandal rather than capital markets or financial policy.

“I don’t understand whether it was ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely,’ or narcissism, or I’m hoping not just sociopath,” host Joe Kernen wondered in front of the former attorney general. “You know the difference, right, from right and wrong?”

“It’s almost like a Shakespearean thing,” he added.

From the very beginning, co-host Andrew Ross Sorkin pressed Spitzer: Would he trust “a felon to manage [his] money,” and how can voters trust him after he “did something that was illegal” when he was “the chief law-enforcement officer of the state”?

At one point, Sorkin plainly asked, “Since you’ve resigned, can you unequivocally say you that you have not been with a prostitute?” Spitzer assured him that he had not.

Kernen couldn’t get over Spitzer’s judgment during his time in office, saying, “It’s almost as if you wonder if there’s a screw lose permanently for you to be able to have done that.”

Spitzer continually tried to divert the attention from his personal foibles, and instead of his professional experiences — “the totality of my career,” he said — he argued qualify him to be the city’s comptroller. Spitzer attacked National Review again for Ramesh Ponnuru’s 2004 cover story during his campaign for governor, which he did during a Union Square appearance earlier this week (Ponnuru responded to Spitzer’s comments on the Corner yesterday.)