How Weiner defends campaign as something larger than himself
New York mayoral candidate and former U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner faced further questions about his sexually explicit online correspondence on Wednesday. Though two prominent newspaper editorials urged Weiner to drop out of the race, he said he hopes voters will give him a second chance.
Anthony Weiner resisted mounting calls to bow out of the New York City mayoral race on Wednesday, a day after admitting he had continued the sexually charged online chats that led him to resign from Congress in disgrace two years ago.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Weiner, who took the lead in several polls soon after announcing his political comeback in May, said in an email to supporters that he should have been clearer about how long the behavior had persisted but that he hoped voters would give him another chance.
The New York Times and the New York Daily News both published editorials on Wednesday urging Weiner, a Democrat who was once a leading liberal voice in Congress, to end his bid to follow Mayor Michael Bloomberg into City Hall.
"The serially evasive Mr. Weiner should take his marital troubles and personal compulsions out of the public eye, away from cameras, off the Web and out of the race for mayor of New York City," the New York Times wrote in its lead editorial, adding he had "disqualified himself" for public service.
Weiner told a news conference on Tuesday he had sent lewd images of himself to women online until at least last summer.
The New York Post, known for its outrageous headlines, went with "Meet Carlos Danger" - a reference to Weiner's reported pseudonym in the online chats with a woman he met over the Internet.
Weiner insisted he would not drop out. In his email, he said his campaign was about something larger than himself and that he would not "leave New Yorkers without a choice."
Of the resumption of online activity that had cost him his last job, Weiner said: "It was a terrible mistake that I unfortunately returned to during a rough time in our marriage."
Until the revelations, Weiner was first in the mayoral race. On Wednesday, Quinnipiac University released a poll - conducted before Weiner's press conference - that found him leading Democratic candidates with 26 percent of the vote. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn followed with 22 percent, and former city comptroller Bill Thompson had 20 percent.
Weiner's latest troubles began on Monday after a gossip website called The Dirty published a series of sexually explicit messages and images an unnamed young woman said she received from Weiner, including pictures of his penis.
She gave the website numerous screenshots of what the website said were chats on Facebook and another social media website in which Weiner described the sexual acts he wanted to perform on her and which she apparently encouraged.