By Alexander Bolton - 07/26/13 10:46 PM EDT
Staten Island, New York – Anthony Weiner says he’s not concerned about House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Ca.) opinion these days.
He made clear to reporters at a press conference in the Tottenville neighborhood of Staten Island, New York’s most conservative borough, that he has no intention of dropping out of the race.
Pelosi pressured the former New York Democratic representative to resign from the House two years ago after he admitted to explicit sexual conversations over the Internet and then mislead his colleagues about it.
Weiner brushed off Pelosi’s criticism Friday, noting he doesn’t need her vote in his quest to become the next mayor of New York.
“Nancy Pelosi, she’s not going to have a chance to vote for me,” he said.
Weiner said he is more concerned about Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who will cast a ballot in September’s Democratic primary.
Nadler told NBC News that Weiner needs “serious psychiatric help” and should withdraw from the race.
But Weiner still thinks he can change Nadler’s mind.
“I hope to win Jerry Nadler’s vote in this election,” he said.
He vowed to continue his campaign against a fractured Democratic primary field.
“We’re going to keep talking about the issues that are important,” he said, adding of the latest sexual allegations. “It is not the be-all, end-all of my campaign.”
Weiner downplayed his admission earlier in the week that he engaged in online sexual relationships with at least three women since resigning from Congress in June of 2011. He argued that he has already apologized to his supporters and hinted that he is tiring of discussing his marital infidelities.
“There’s going to reach a point fairly soon that I’m going to say I think I’ve said enough about it and I’m going to keep talking about other things,” Weiner said.
He held the news conference in one of the neighborhoods hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy in October of last year to highlight the plight of homeowners who have struggled to rebuild their trashed properties.
Housing policy drew little attention from assembled reporters and camera crews who blitzed him with questions about his online relationships and the viability of his campaign.
A Marist poll conducted for NBC 4 New York and the Wall Street Journal on Thursday showed Weiner falling to nine-point deficit behind frontrunner Christine Quinn.
Weiner admitted it’s been difficult to get his message out about policy solutions for the middle class while being hounded by a media throng intent on investigating his personal life.
“I’m glad you’re here. You’re doing your job, I’m trying to do mine,” he said at the contentious press event.
He adamantly denied a report in the New York Post that his brother reached out to Sydney Leathers, the 22-year-old woman, who disclosed her online relationship with him this past week.
The Post reported that Jason Weiner tried to do damage control, perhaps fearing Leathers would go public with the racy exchanges.
Weiner said he is well aware that his sexting habit has become a big national story but maintained he still has the support of allies. He declined to say whether any donors have privately rebuked him or dropped away from his campaign.
“This has been a big, big news story, apparently,” he said. “I’m hearing from a lot of people who are talking about it.
“But you know, a lot of people have also said to me this is something in the past, something that you’ve talked about repeatedly and something you’ve apologized for,” he added.