7:10am PT by Hilary Lewis
Eliot Spitzer on CBS: 'I Sinned… But What I am Seeking is Service' (Video)
Just hours after Eliot Spitzer announced his return to politics, he's already begun the media tour.
The disgraced former New York governor appeared on CBS This Morning (along with a number of local morning shows) Monday to discuss his decision to run for New York City comptroller, which he said he just made this weekend.
Spitzer told the New York Times on Sunday that he's planning to run for comptroller, asking voters to forgive him for the prostitution scandal that led him to resign as governor of New York.
Echoing these same themes, Spitzer acknowledged his past transgressions, saying "I sinned, I owned up to it, I looked them in the eye, I resigned, I held myself accountable ... It's now five years later. I hope they (voters) look back at what I did as attorney general, as governor, as a prosecutor and say, 'Hey, this guy was ahead of the curve on Wall Street issues.' "
In running for comptroller, Spitzer will be facing off against Kristin Davis, who ran the prostitution ring the former governor was accused of visiting.
"I think anybody who's been through what I've been through, sure, you want redemption," Spitzer said on CBS. "If that's what I wanted, I don't think this is the path to do it. But what I am seeking is service."
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Spitzer said his decision to enter the comptroller's race was "a very difficult decision," noting that it brings up the subject of his 2008 resignation from the New York governor's office. But he indicated that he has the tough skin necessary to withstand jokes about his past.
Spitzer added that he hoped to make an impact on New York City's finances, explaining "I want to do to [the comptroller's] office what I did to the AG’s office."
He said that of all the things he's done in his career, TV hosting included, "the most satisfying thing for me ever is public service."
Following his resignation from politics, Spitzer embarked on a TV career in fall 2010, co-hosting CNN's Parker/Spitzer with Kathleen Parker. After Parker exited the show in 2011, CNN launched a new Spitzer-hosted show called In the Arena, which only lasted five months.
In April 2012, he began hosting Viewpoint on Current TV, but Spitzer left that network after news broke that it had been acquired by Al Jazeera.
In his CBS This Morning interview, Spitzer quickly dismissed rumors that he and his wife had separated and said he'd discussed his decision to re-enter politics with his family.
In order to make September's primary ballot, Spitzer reportedly needs to collect a minimum of 3,750 signatures from registered Democratic voters by Thursday.