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Weiner roasted by both Democrats and Republicans

By THOMAS FERRARO and DEBORAH CHARLES
June 8, 2011

Rep. Anthony Weiner: Shunned by both parties (Reuters)

A top Republican on Tuesday called on Democratic Representative Anthony Weiner to resign, saying Congress cannot afford to be distracted by the sexually charged photos and tweets he sent to women.

House Republican Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia became the first top lawmaker to say that Weiner, an outspoken liberal who easily won a seventh two-year term in the House of Representatives last year, “should resign”.

“We’ve got a lot of serious challenges going on in this country and a lot of work for Congress to do. The last thing we need is to be immersed in discussion about Congressman Weiner and his Twitter activities,” Cantor said.

Democrats sounded even angrier with Weiner, complaining he had effectively given Republicans a break by shifting public attention to his tweets and away from their unpopular plan to cut the Medicare healthcare program for the elderly.

Weiner, married to a longtime aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on Monday acknowledged that he had sent lewd pictures of himself and had inappropriate online relationships with several women. But he said he had broken no law and would not resign.

A little more than half of New York City voters think Weiner should not resign, according to a NY1-Marist poll taken just hours after his tearful admission. However, a majority, 56 percent, say he should give up his hopes of becoming the next New York mayor.

Political analysts and congressional aides said Democrats believe that Weiner undercut them politically and it is unclear if he can survive.

“Democrats are furious,” one Democratic aide said.

Jennifer Duffy of the nonpartisan Cook Political report said Democrats had good reason to be upset. “They had a great week before the story broke and were focused on Medicare and really had Republicans’ backs against the wall.”

“Suddenly, the Weiner story pushes all that to the side, robbing them of momentum that they might never get back. It would be hard to blame the Democratic leadership for being furious with him.” Duffy said.

TWEETING SCANDAL

Just two weeks ago, Democrats scored an upset victory in a special congressional election in a traditionally Republican district in New York state, riding voter ire over a proposal by Republicans to privatize Medicare.

The contest lifted Democratic hopes that they can rebound in the 2012 election, perhaps even winning back the House of Representatives from Republicans.

Yet a nearly daily pounding of Republicans over Medicare came to a halt amid questions about Weiner’s personal life.

The scandal began when Weiner denied tweeting a photo of a man in boxer briefs to a 21-year-old female student in Washington state, insisting his account had been hacked.

But on Monday, a weeping Weiner admitted having had inappropriate online exchanges with at least six women.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, asked about Weiner on Tuesday, said, “I wish there was some way I could defend him, but I can’t.”

Reid would not say if he thought Weiner should resign. But when asked what he would say if Weiner sought his advice, Reid said, “Call somebody else.”

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi asked the House ethics committee to investigate whether Weiner violated any of the chamber’s rules.

The leaders of the committee had no comment on Pelosi’s request.

“If and when an investigation is appropriate in any matter, the Committee will carry out its responsibilities pursuant to our rules and with the utmost integrity and fairness,” the panel’s chairman and senior Democrat said in a statement. They added that because of the panel’s rules of confidentiality, they would have no further comment.

The length of House ethics probes varies greatly depending on the case and have taken from two months to two years.

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

3 Responses to Weiner roasted by both Democrats and Republicans

  1. Danny Adams

    June 8, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Weiner should have been an experienced enough politician to know that in Washington you have to do these things properly–meaning no naughty pictures online, but rather discreetly keeping a mistress and then, if found out, you say sorry, ask for prayers of forgiveness until such time as the divorce is finalized, and then emerge sometime later claiming to be a voice of moral authority. Get with the program, Weinter.

  2. Carl Nemo

    June 9, 2011 at 2:49 am

    A man with a vestige of honor in his soul would resign for the good of the Republic and his District. Notice that this slimeball has the hubris to defy all shunning and criticism to maintain his office. Why so…? Maybe it’s linked to lobbyists’…$$ : |

    Evidently the lobbyists’ ‘bribes’ along with the ‘heady’ power of holding office is far greater than honesty with his constituents. All I can say is constituents beware. See what you’ve elected to office; I.E., a duplicitious monster…!? Do you think his is an unusual case? Not so; Congress is crawling with vermin of the same stripe.

    This nation is in a heap o’ trouble…! / : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  3. Rick

    June 9, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    This is the Studds/Frank/Rangel school of so what. You don’t want me fire me. Weiner is in a safe district in that a Republican won’t take it and Democrats won’t run against him.