Former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) on Sunday insisted he would stay in New York City’s mayoral race despite the resignation of his campaign manager and growing pressure from fellow Democrats to quit.
“We knew this would be a tough campaign,” Weiner said at a campaign event in Brooklyn, according to reports. “We have an amazing staff, but this isn't about the people working on the campaign. It's about the people we're campaigning for.
Weiner said his focus would be on discussing the issues important to New York voters and pledged to talk about “ideas for the middle class and people struggling to make it every single day.”
His admission of inappropriate behavior, though, has cost him his lead in the race, with a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released after the latest scandal over lewd texts showing New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn with 25 percent support to Weiner’s 16 percent.
And on Sunday, Weiner faced a torrent of criticism, with calls growing for him to step aside.
David Axelrod, a former senior adviser to President Obama, called Weiner’s pursuit of the mayor’s office “delusional” and urged him “to go away.”
“Let New York have its mayor’s race,” said Axelrod on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Republican Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) said Weiner was “not psychologically qualified” for office.
Earlier in the week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called Weiner and San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, who has faced sexual harassment accusations, of being “disrespectful of women” and slamming their behavior as “reprehensible.”
Weiner, though, received a vote of confidence from former Washington, D.C., Mayor Marion Barry, who called him a “good Democrat” and urged him to speak more about what he accomplished in Congress.