The primary rivals of Democratic attorney general candidate Letitia James on Tuesday pounced after she told The New York Times in an interview she would not seek to become the next “sheriff of Wall Street.”

Hours later on Tuesday, James sought to contain the fallout from the statement, insisting the office can and should do more beyond prosecuting bad actors on Wall Street, but promised to be “laser-focused” on financial fraud.

The trouble started with an interview in The Times published Tuesday morning in which James, the New York City public advocate, told the newspaper, “It’s really, critically important that I not be known as the ‘Sheriff on Wall Street.’”

That phrase has its own loaded history, having first been embraced by then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who as governor resigned amid a prostitution scandal, and later Andrew Cuomo when he served in the AG’s office.

Cuomo has endorsed James’s bid for attorney general, leading to questions about her degree of independence from the governor.

The story was pounced on by James’s rivals, including Zephyr Teachout.

“I can’t wait to be known as the Sheriff of Wall Street, because now more than ever when Congress is awash in corporate cash, the New York Attorney General must be the regulator of last resort,” Teachout said.

“The AG must protect New Yorkers from financial frauds and consumer rip-offs, and out of control speculators who take advantage of people and crash our markets. I’ve been fighting against lawlessness on Wall Street for over a decade, standing up to them after the financial crisis, and organizing against the lobbyists for financial reform. It has never been more important to enforce state laws with the rollback of Dodd-Frank and the gutting of the CFPB thanks to Congress.”

For her part, James in her own statement clarified the office is multi-pronged, but doesn’t need a tabloid headline-like name to get results.

“The Attorney General cannot be a one-trick pony. I will be laser-focused on taking on Wall Street abuses — I don’t need a moniker for that,” she said.

“But the Attorney General’s Office must also be focused on ending the gun violence crisis that is killing young men across the state, fighting the Trump Administration’s draconian immigration policies, protecting the environment — from lead in the water in Buffalo to illegal dumping on Long Island — and 100 other priorities that must be handled at the same time. Anyone suggesting otherwise is doing a disservice to the powers of the office and the people of New York.”