On Wednesday, an angry Anthony Weiner bristled when voters and Democratic political activists questioned the propriety of his campaign for Mayor of New York City, in light of the notorious Twitter scandal that forced him to resign from Congress in disgrace two years ago.
At a meeting held by the New Kings Democrats in the Williamsburg section of New York City, Brooklyn activist Chris Owens lambasted Weiner for his “arrogance” in deciding to run for mayor. “I have a three word question. How dare you?” Owens told Weiner. “I’m a parent. I’ve got two sons. I represent the Democratic Party. I am outraged and disgusted by you, both by what you did and by the fact that you have the arrogance to run for mayor now.”
Earlier in the event, Weiner had said “I want, when I get elected, people at least — whether they voted for me or not — to know the ideas that I care about it.”
Owens, however, was not buying Weiner’s statement of lofty purpose. “I want to understand how you explain to us how you used a public facility to tweet offensive material to individuals who may have included minors, you did not know. You then lied about it, and tried to defend yourself, and then you come back — not even four or eight years later; you come back after two years — and you expect us to embrace you because you have good ideas?”
“Well listen, Chris, you have a right to grandstand, and I have a right to answer the question,” Weiner shot back.
Weiner also attacked another voter, Jesse Straus, who said his indecent behavior was a disqualifier. “If you want to disqualify me for that, then that’s your choice. I can’t try to convince every single person.”
Weiner went on to take as his own the “lean forward” motto of both NBC News and the new Organizing for Action non-profit that has inherited the Obama for America political campaign apparatus. “I am still gonna be out there leaning forward and talking about these ideas,” he told the skeptical audience.
Wiener, despite the public criticism, predicted “I’m going to win this election, okay, and I’m going to govern this city really well.”
Recent polls show Weiner in second place among announced Democrats, but within striking distance of leader Christine Quinn. The Democratic primary will be held in September, and the general election will be held in November. Former Chairman of the Metropolitan Transit Authority Joe Lhota is the Republican front runner.