Former Rep. Anthony Weiner says his wife is giving him a second chance, and he wants to ask New Yorkers to do the same. In an exclusive interview with NY1's Political Anchor Errol Louis, Weiner said Monday he will make a decision soon about running for mayor, but he already sounds like a candidate eager to launch a bid for City Hall. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following exclusive report.
After nearly two years of keeping quiet, former Rep. Anthony Weiner is speaking out.
"I think I'll be spending a lot of time, here on out, saying I'm sorry," he said.
Weiner is laying the groundwork for a political comeback. NY1's sit-down interview in Weiner's Park Avenue home came on the same day that the former politician released a 64-point plan on how to make the city a better place for the middle class, and one day after his long interview with the New York Times Magazine was published.
He told NY1 political anchor Errol Louis that he will decide soon about whether to run for mayor.
"I want to be part of the ideas primary. That's for sure. That primary I want to do very well in," Weiner said.
But first, Weiner is facing some tough questions. In his first television interview since resigning from Congress, Weiner made it clear he does not want to dig too deeply into the text message sex scandal that derailed his career.
Louis: How many people were involved that you were sending these inappropriate messages to?
Weiner: Let me say this, here is what I think people need to know. I did these inappropriate things and sent these inappropriate messages with more than one person, several people. And I have been excruciatingly honest, in letter by letter, detail by detail, with my wife. And frankly, a lot of these things are in the public domain. An embarrassing amount is in the public domain…. But out of respect for the idea that I've laid it all out for her and out of some respect for the privacy of the people who were at the other end of these correspondences, who had their lives turned upside down, I am not going to go into the details of every bit of it. I'll let other people do it.
Louis: Let me then just ask you the three questions that I think are most on people's minds and the sort of minimum that people need to hear. You said "several." That's, what, that's less than 10? "Several" is a few. It's not 60, it's not 100. Less than 10?
Weiner: That is exactly what I was talking about. I understand that you are asking these questions. I don't want to create a dynamic where the privacy of people is being impinged upon.
Louis: I am trying to get past it so reporters don't have to go out and count them all up.
Weiner said he was asked that question before, and that he had answered six. He was then asked whether any of the six women he sent lewd pictures to were underage.
"No one was underage," Weiner answered.
Asked whether he used public resources to communicate with the women, Weiner said, "I can't say with finality yes or no, but I don't believe so."
As for the mayor's race, Weiner admitted he would be an underdog. But he seems intrigued by the prospect, calling the public debate in the city "a little bit disheartening."
Weiner appears to he have been studying up on the issues dominating the campaign. He thinks the New York City Police Department's stop-and-frisk policy would work better with more transparency. And he is opposed to creating an inspector general to examine policy decisions at the NYPD.
"If I run for mayor and if I become the mayor, I want people looking at me and saying, 'You know what, you are in charge, you did this. You are accountable,'" said Weiner.
There are still a lot of uncertainties for Weiner, but he seems very close to making a decision.