NEW YORK (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — As Anthony Weiner pressed ahead with his bid for mayor Wednesday, a growing number of people are calling for for him to drop out over a new sexting scandal.
The latest scandal erupted Tuesday after the gossip website The Dirty posted X-rated messages and a crotch shot it said he exchanged with a woman last year while using the online alias “Carlos Danger.”
The story has created a buzz online, with people across the country weighing in on the scandal and Weiner’s alias. On CBSDFW’s Facebook page, viewer Brian Cuban wrote, “I predict “Carlos Danger” will become mayor of NYC on a write in vote.”
Slate.com is making fun of the scandal by posting a name generator that will allow anyone to type in their first and last name to generate their own personal pseudonym.
On a more serious note, at a news conference Tuesday evening, Weiner, who has been a favorite in polls since he launched his political comeback attempt in late May, stood side-by-side with his clearly uncomfortable wife, Huma Abedin, and said he hoped the voters would give him another chance.
Abedin, a longtime adviser to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, reaffirmed her love and support for her husband and said the matter was “between us.”
Weiner has emphasized that he said when launching his campaign that more messages might emerge. But until Tuesday, he never said directly that some were sent as recently as last year.
“I regret not saying explicitly when these exchanges happened,” he told supporters in an email Wednesday.
But Weiner dismissed the calls for him to drop out, saying that the campaign was “too important to give up because I’ve had embarrassing personal things become public” and that he wasn’t surprised his opponents wanted him out.
Democratic strategists based in New York and Washington, where Weiner served seven terms in Congress before resigning in 2011, said there are few external means of pressuring Weiner to drop out.
Weiner has nearly $5 million to spend on the campaign, allowing him to mount a vigorous defense in televised advertising. Also, he was not particularly close to his colleagues in the congressional delegation, the strategists said, so he might be unmoved if they urged him to exit the race.
As for what the voters think, “I don’t think it’s a good sign” that Weiner’s misbehavior continued even after his resignation, said Andrew Taub, 22, who works in the venture capital field.
“But I do believe for some people looking for a sign, for something to bolster his campaign,” the fact that Abedin is staying with him “says a lot.”
The unidentified woman involved in the newly disclosed messages told The Dirty that she was 22 when she began chatting with Weiner on a social networking site in July 2012, and that their exchanges lasted six months.
The Dirty posted explicit conversations of two people fantasizing about various sex acts, and ran a pixelated photo of what it said were Weiner’s genitals.
(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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