Anthony Weiner has launched an ad blitz to boost his moribund campaign to become mayor of New York. The former lawmaker is touting the issue that made him famous in Congress: universal healthcare.
In a new television ad titled “Healthy,” Weiner pushes his plan to create a single-payer healthcare system to “ensure all New Yorkers have access to high-quality healthcare,” according to a statement campaign.
One commercial in Spanish attempts to downplay Weiner’s sexually explicit online exchanges with women outside his marriage, including one that occurred at least a year after he resigned from Congress because of similar behavior.
“Anthony Weiner deserves a second chance,” a narrator billed as an “everyday New Yorker” tells the camera. “The private life of a candidate is not important to me. It’s his work in politics [that’s] important for us New Yorkers.”
Weiner has dropped to fourth place in polls after admitting last month that he continued to engage in sexually charged conversations with women he met over the Internet after he stepped down from his House seat in 2011 amid a sexting scandal.
With the Democratic primary on Sept. 10, Weiner is trying to eke out enough support to make the runoff. The top two candidates make the runoff unless someone wins 40 percent.
Weiner is in fourth place, behind New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who are running evenly in the lead, and former Comptroller Bill Thompson, who is in third place. Weiner is polling at around 10 percent.
Weiner touted a single-payer healthcare system early in President Obama’s first term and even threatened to sink the 2010 Affordable Care Act because it didn't include a government-managed public option insurance program. He served in the lower chamber from 1999 to 2011.
Media coverage of Weiner has dwindled as his chances of surviving into the next round of the mayoral race have dropped.
Only a few reporters followed him on the campaign trail through Brooklyn and Queens on Sunday.
He canceled a voter meet-and-greet event at the Pomonok Houses, a massive apartment complex in Queens, on Sunday after it became clear that it would attract only a handful of potential voters.