Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer has some harsh words for Sen Kirsten E. Gillibrand’s performance over the past year -- and he also tore into Democrats who are trying to protect her ahead of the next election.
Gov. David Paterson appointed Gillibrand after Clinton became Secretary of State.
Spitzer said in the interview that Gillibrand has failed to speak her mind and "make tough decisions on critical issues relating to the economy, civil rights, issues of crime and punishment, guns, same-sex marriage."
Listen to the interview
“And I just think on every one of those scores, she fails," he said.
Spitzer also had some harsh words for the White House and national Democratic leaders, who said are too involved in New York politics. The Obama administration reportedly does not want Gov. Paterson to run again next year and some Democrats have been accused of trying to discourage primary challenges to Gillibrand.
“I think the White House should focus on creating jobs, getting health care reform, reforming our financial structure — and it has in that area in particular done a very poor job — rather than getting immersed in the local politics of New York State,” Spitzer said in the interview.
Gillibrand spokesman Glen Caplin suggested Spitzer's comments were sour grapes, since she "was among the first Democrats to say he would need to step down'' following revelations that he frequented a prostitution ring.
Gov. David Paterson says Gillibrand has "great ability" and is evolving like most people who represent a small district do when they go to a large district."