Stringer mocks weepy, confessional Spitzer, and dares him to ‘bring it’

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Scott Stringer and a toy gun (Dan Rosenblum)
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In an afternoon radio interview, Scott Stringer identified some differences between his national television interview with one Eliot Spitzer gave a day before.

"I was on 'Morning Joe' this morning, I did not cry, I did not confess, I did not try to work out my personal issues in front of a national audience," Stringer said on Rita Cosby's radio show this afternoon.

Since he declared his candidacy on Sunday night, Spitzer has tried to deflect the most probing personal questions about the prostitution scandal that drove him from office, saying he doesn't want to engage in too much self-analysis on the campaign trail. But he got choked up yesterday talking about the pain his scandal had caused.

Stringer was, apparently, unmoved.

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In the brief campaign so far, it's been Stringer, not the famously hard-charging Spitzer, who's emerged as the more combative of the two.

In his "Morning Joe" appearance this morning, Stringer said he doesn't have any interest in being friends with Spitzer. (Spitzer has said he's friends with Stringer, who he agrees with most of the time, and hopes they'll be friends again after this race.)

During the afternoon interview with Cosby, who said she thinks Spitzer is "hypocritical" and told New Yorkers "bravo" for not signing his petitions, Stringer went back to his criticism of Spitzer's wealth, and the former governor's willingness to flout the city's campaign finance system.

Stringer said he was surprised Spitzer waited so long into the petitioning process to declare for the race, before it "dawned on" him that Spitzer could "just throw out all this money and buy his way onto the ballot and then buy this office."

After Cosby rattled off all the things she found objectionable about Spitzer's scandal and said, as far as she was concerned it was "fair game" to talk about his personal failings, Stringer mentioned their "Morning Joe" appearances, followed by his own experience.

"I don't want to talk about people's personal issues, because that's not what voters want to talk about," Stringer explained. "This is not a race about getting back in, or having a better job for yourself."

He cited his support from congressmembers Jerry Nadler and Hakeem Jeffries, and from Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., and said he was "very confident" about his campaign.

"You know, bring it," he said at the end.