January 31, 2007 / 7:56 PM / 12 years ago

NY Gov. Spitzer stands by "steamroller" boast

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer was unabashed on Wednesday about declaring himself a “steamroller” and the most accomplished governor in the history of the state after three weeks on the job.

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer (C) gives a thumbs up during his gubernatorial acceptance speech as his wife Silda WiIl (L) and daughter Elyssa applaud during the New York State Democratic Party midterm election night celebration in New York, November 7, 2006. Spitzer was unabashed on Wednesday about declaring himself a "steamroller" and the most accomplished governor in the history of the state after three weeks on the job. REUTERS/Mike Segar

“I am a fucking steamroller and I’ll roll over you or anybody else,” the Democratic governor told Republican Assemblyman James Tedisco in a private conversation last week, the New York Post reported on Wednesday.

“I’ve done more in three weeks than any governor has done in the history of the state,” Spitzer also said, the Post reported.

Asked at a news conference if the comments were inappropriately boastful, Spitzer replied tersely, “No. Next question.”

Former New York governors include DeWitt Clinton, who built the Erie Canal in the 1820s, connecting New York to the interior of the United States and cementing New York City’s position as a powerhouse of international trade.

Four former governors went on to become president including Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose social welfare programs for the state provided a model for the New Deal when he later entered the White House.

Spitzer was elected governor with nearly 70 percent of the vote in November following a stint as attorney general noted for high-profile investigations into Wall Street.

A spokeswoman for Spitzer declined to comment when asked to confirm the conversation. A Tedisco spokesman confirmed there was a “heated conversation” but declined to reveal details.

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