From City Council votes to the lewd texting scandal that brought about his resignation from Congress, the career and character of Democratic mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner came under attack from several of his rivals at a Thursday forum in Greenwich Village focused on aging voters, but the audience seemed more sympathetic than disapproving of the former congressman. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
One would be hard-pressed to find anyone in New York who does not know about the lewd texting scandal that ended Anthony Weiner's career in Congress. But as one of his Democratic opponents in the mayor's race now knows, bringing it up on the campaign trail may actually backfire.
Former City Councilman Sal Albanese was booed loudly at a mayoral forum focused on the needs of older New Yorkers when he brought up the scandal before the Greenwich Village audience.
"Tony Weiner lied to organizations about this bill and turned around and voted against it. He lied, as he lied about his texting scandal on CNN after that as well. So, I bring this up... whatever you think, whatever you think," Albanese said, before audience members interrupted his sentence with boos.
Afterward, many in the audience gathered around Weiner for pictures. Some offered hugs and supportive words.
The reminder of Weiner's online habits was hardly the only shot taken at him. Public Advocate Bill de Blasio accused Weiner of taking too much credit for President Barack Obama's health care reform law.
"First of all, Anthony, you didn't get Obamacare. President Obama got Obamacare," de Blasio said. "I know you have a tendency to think the world revolves around you, but it was President Obama."
Albanese also hammered Weiner over his vote in the City Council to end rent control regulations for wealthier New Yorkers. Weiner defended his vote, saying it was either that or risk losing rent regulations altogether.
"I try to get the best deal for my constituents. I am always going to do that. And I was not going to let rent regulations lapse for millions of people in the city," Weiner said.
Meanwhile, a day after de Blasio was arrested over the possible closing of Long Island College Hospital in Cobble Hill, the candidate tried to capitalize on the attention given to his act of civil disobedience.
"There is a reason it has been used in history to draw attention to things that simply weren't working. And when done responsibly, it does achieve that, because now people are talking about the fate of these hospitals more," de Blasio said.
Of course, de Blasio's arrest also ensured that people were talking about him as well.