Gov. Andrew Cuomo threw a lifeline to Comptroller Tom DiNapoli this afternoon after Ken Lovett reported today in his column that former Gov. Eliot Spitzer was being discussed as a potential primary candidate.

While the possibility of a Spitzer comeback via the comptroller’s race is such political catnip that it could make one’s head spin counterclockwise, the story is really about DiNapoli’s perceived political weaknesses heading into 2014, which in all likelihood will be ho-hum year for statewide races (Spitzer was reportedly considering the race back in 2009 as well).

Cuomo, who did not endorse DiNapoli in 2010 while he as attorney general was pursuing an investigation of the office (He later cleared DiNapoli of any wrongdoing), said DiNapoli has both experience and competency.

“On the first part of that question, I think the comptroller Tom DiNapoli has a lot of experience in state government in many different positions,” Cuomo said. He was in the Assembly, he has a lot of good relations with the Assembly. He is a capable fellow and I think he has done a competent job and I’ll leave it at that. He’s the comptroller, so he’s independent of the governor’s office and that’s the way it ought to be.”

And while a Spitzer comeback as comptroller is catnip for those of us in the political press, the erstwhile sheriff of Wall Street in an office with subpeonoa power, well, that may make life difficult in Albany for some.

“I’m just going to not comment on the second part of that question,” Cuomo said.