Ken Langone, interviewed by CNBC's Charlie Gasperino, takes some nasty little swipes at Eliot Spitzer
Charlie Gasparino: Why do you think Eliot Spitzer charged you and not [Carl] McCall? McCall was head of the compensation committee at the time.
Ken Langone: Politics and headlines--in that order.
CG: Which was first?
KL: Well, Carl is a very prominent Democrat and Elliott is a prominent Democrat. and I think that had some play. But clearly the facts clearly indicate... I don't know why i'm in this... I've said that from day one. ...You need to know know that it enhances Mr. Spitzer's ability to get headlines and virtually everything else is what he's all about.
CG: Let me back up. He said you deceived the board on a portion of the pay package.
KL: He has no testimony to support that. We've gone to the judge and said, your honor, let him show us the evidence that he's got that I misled people. That hasn't happened. I want to say this loud and clear. I want Eliot Spitzer to come forward and tell me how much money that he's gotten has he given back to the little guy--the investors. That's what this is all about. Eliot Spitzer protected the integrity of the investor and little guy, that's one thing. Equally in this case, how much money, taxpayer--I'm a New York State taxpayer--how much money are you spending on this case?
Dick Grasso then goes on to try to one-up Spitzer on the friend-of-the-little-guy count by noting--repeatedly--that he plans to donate the winnings (if any) from his countersuit to charity. Part of the money will be used to fund scholarships, which puts Grasso one rhetorical step away from being able to say he's doing it "for the children." And, of course, children > the little guy.
Some children are little guys but not all little guys are children...Didn't we see that on the GMAT?