POSTED: Saturday, July 20, 2013 - 6:26pm
UPDATED: Sunday, July 21, 2013 - 3:08pm
Scott Stringer, the man who until two weeks ago was running unopposed in the Democratic primary race for New York City comptroller, said Saturday his new opponent Eliot Spitzer sounded like a Republican when he talked about campaign finance and financial disclosures.
The Manhattan borough president, speaking on CNN, alleged Spitzer was operating by his own set of rules in his campaign for the city's top financial post.
"You have to be consistent as to what you believe in," Stringer told CNN's Poppy Harlow and Victor Blackwell. "How do we have Spitzer sounding like a Republican? Republicans say that the campaign finance system isn't good. Republicans don't release their income taxes, and I think we have in New York City a very high standard about elected officials just telling us the truth and being consistent."
Earlier this week, Stringer's campaign pressured Spitzer to release his personal income tax returns, pointing out that the former New York governor had called on then-GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney to do the same during last year's race for the White House.
Initially, Spitzer's campaign released only the candidate's annual income and tax rates, but later released the first two pages of his 2011 and 2012 1040 forms.
They showed Spitzer earned an adjusted gross income of $4.268 million in 2012 and paid $2.094 million in federal, state and city taxes, a rate of 49%. In 2011, Spitzer's adjusted gross income was $3.769 million and he paid a tax rate of 39.5%. Spitzer was employed by CNN for part of that year, hosting an evening program until July 2011.
On CNN Thursday, Spitzer said those returns, along with a financial conflict of interest form that he filed, provided sufficient information for voters to assess his standing.
"They know about all the conflicts," Spitzer told Jake Tapper on "The Lead."
"I revealed not only what I earned (but) how much I paid: I paid 49% of my income in taxes last year," he said.
Spitzer is attempting a political comeback bid in New York following his 2008 admission that he paid prostitutes for sex. The revelation prompted his resignation from the Empire State's governorship.
Polls released in the past week showed Spitzer with a double-digit lead over Stringer - an advantage Stringer chalked up to name recognition.
"Listen, Spitzer was governor and then he wasn't. My job is to speak about my record, the work that I have done as borough president, my work as a state legislator," he said Saturday on CNN.
"When I talk about my record of leadership, the experience I have, and the integrity I have shown in my public life, I believe we are going to win this race by a substantial margin. Voters don't want to go back, they want to go forward."