Oh, to be Anthony Weiner. He may be poised to challenge mayoral frontrunner City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to a run-off, only a month after jumping into the race, but he's also got the pesky media on his back about EVERYTHING. Yesterday, the Washington Post reported that an elderly lady called Quinn a "dyke" on Weiner's campaign trail—and Weiner was forced to issue a statement about homophobia.
In an article published yesterday, Washington Post reporter followed Weiner as the candidate looked for voters to sign his petition and noted this exchange:
“You a registered Democrat?” he asked an elderly woman wheeling a shopping cart by him.
“I am,” she said. “And I’m not voting for uh, what’s her name? The dyke.”
“Okay. I just need you to sign the petition to get me on the ballot,” said Weiner, who then noticed the incredulous reaction of a reporter and added, “and you really shouldn’t talk that way about people.”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” the woman said.
“It’s okay,” Weiner responded. “It’s not your fault.”
And here's audio:
Weiner was asked about it yesterday, and he said, "Well let me make it clear that when I heard the person make that remark—by the way it was in a scrum of literally dozens of people around me on a street corner—when I heard the woman make that remark, I immediately admonished her not to say anything further. I have no memory of saying anything beyond that to the woman."
Still, some local lawmakers were pissed that he told the woman "It's not your fault," as was the Empire State Pride Agenda, whose director Nathan Schaefer said, "It’s unfortunate that we need to issue a public statement on this at all, but this is becoming a disturbing pattern. Anthony Weiner should know better: actually, Congressman, it’s NOT ‘okay’ to condone a homophobic slur, and it’s also not okay to sit by in silence as they are used in your presence … You are asking New Yorkers for your vote, and we hope that we will see leadership on this issue in the future, as well as an apology now. No leader should ever send a message that homophobia is ‘okay.’”
Then Weiner's campaign issued a statement, "Homophobia is vile and destructive and something I have fought against for the entirety of my career, including being a vocal supporter of gay marriage since 1998 and standing up on the floor of Congress for transgender Americans. I admonished the woman amid a large crowd on a street corner and by no means believe that anything about her comment was appropriate. If the impression is that I did, I apologize because behavior like this will absolutely not be tolerated in my administration."
As for Quinn herself, she has no comment.