Frustration with Weiner grows among House Democrats
June 14th, 2011
01:34 PM ET
4 years ago

Frustration with Weiner grows among House Democrats

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Washington (CNN) - When fed up House Democratic leaders called on Anthony Weiner to resign last weekend, they were hoping to keep what they consider a disruptive political distraction from entering a third week.

But Weiner did not step down, and Tuesday outside the House Democrats first meeting since Weiner admitted to sending lewd Twitter messages, frustration among some of his colleagues was palpable.

"It is taking away from all the issues we are fighting for. It's been what two weeks? It's been a very long two weeks," said Weiner's Democratic colleague from New York, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy.

McCarthy told reporters "we're hearing that he might resign in a couple of days," but did not say where she was hearing that.

While McCarthy stopped short of saying Weiner should leave Congress, others did not.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who chaired the House Ethics Committee through the end of last year, said "I think he should resign."

So does Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan, who said it is important to send a "strong message to him that he should resign."

"The more of us who say it, the more telling it will be," said Levin.

If Weiner does not resign, fellow Democrats could take other punitive steps such as voting to strip him of his committee assignments or even vote to expel him from the Democratic caucus.

But multiple lawmakers said House Democrats did not discuss those options in Tuesday's meeting, and said the discussion about Weiner was limited to House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi repeating to colleagues what she said publicly over the weekend.

Afterwards, she reiterated that to reporters.

"I wanted to be sure that they knew why I came to the conclusion that with the love of his family and confidence of his constituents and the need for help that Congressman Weiner should resign from the Congress. I'm never prouder of my colleagues than in times of challenge like this," said Pelosi.

Behind the scenes, Pelosi is expressing confidence Weiner will heed the call from his colleagues to step down.

A source inside Tuesday morning's House Democratic meeting tells CNN that one lawmaker did ask Pelosi about the possibility of stripping Weiner's committee assignments, and that she replied "he won't have any when he resigns."

Weiner has made clear to colleagues and friends that he is waiting to make a decision until his wife, Huma Adebin, returns from a trip abroad with her boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

One Democratic source who spoke with Weiner Saturday tells CNN he said he wants to "look her in the eye" and talk to her about whether to resign, because he has hurt her enough.

Abedin could be back as early as Wednesday morning, and multiple House Democrats have told CNN they are hoping he will announce soon after that he will resign.

Steve Israel, one of the Democratic leaders who issued coordinated statements calling on Weiner to step down, said Monday that "he's awaiting the arrival of his wife, having a conversation with his wife. I hope he makes the judgment that he should resign."

Weiner announced Saturday he was entering an undisclosed treatment center, and on Monday, was granted a two-week leave of absence from the House.

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer stopped short of saying Weiner should resign, but made clear he thinks that would be the best decision, telling reporters it would be "very difficult for him to proceed given the circumstances."

Hoyer added, "I hope he's seriously considering taking a course that will take him out of this context, and deal with this personal life and not be burdened by being a member."

To be sure, some of Weiner's colleagues say it's not their place to pressure him to resign.

"He was duly elected by his constituents I think that's a decision for him to make," said Rob Andrews, D-New Jersey.

As for Republicans, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, joined other GOP colleagues Tuesday in saying he thinks Weiner should resign

–CNN's Paul Courson contributed to this story


Filed under: Anthony Weiner • Carolyn McCarthy
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Thank God I am a Democrat

    I am dissapointed in Dems on this. When Vitter is forced to resing then I will gladly accept Weiners. The Dems should be demanding the same. Until then they should leave it alone as the Repubs have clearly found Vitter's actions acceptable or just don't care.

    June 14, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  2. Baby Boomer

    I think Congressman Wiener should go. At first I thought, who cares. Especially if the people in his district don't care. But, then I thought about something else. What if this had been CongressWOMAN Wiener. SHE would have been asked to leave in a nano-second... So yes, he should go...

    June 14, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Does Anthony Weiner realize that he has thrown the Republican Party a desparately needed lifeline?
    The party was drowning in the Ryan Plan, lost special elections, capturing Bin Laden, attacking unions, defending oil subsidies, reneging and making the debt ceiling another FY2011 budget fight, limiting voter's rights, passing biased anti-immigration laws, focusing on social issues and not jobs.

    Gee, that's a pretty long list to be forgotten about in less than a week.

    June 14, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "It is taking away from all the issues we are fighting for"

    I blame the "news" media for that more than I blame Wiener (not to lessen his contributive culpabiilty though). Seriously. We've got a debt problem, a budget deficit problem, wars, unemployment, a whole host of other issues, but hey, this story involves d-ck pics, so all that other stuff can just wait on the back burner while the "news" media outlets all claw each others eyes out trying to leverage the genitalia factor into ratings and ad revenue. It's sophomoric and salacious and smarmy (and no, in this instance, I'm not talking about what Weiner did when I use those 3 words).

    June 14, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  5. Bill NY

    With the shape this country is in, I believe they should ALL resign. Weiner's sexting is insignificant next to the deficit, unemployment, crime and other problems in the US. This coming from people who don't have to worry about the everyday worries their constituents lose sleep over. They should all be TOTALLY ASHAMED! Forget this chump and get back to work on the REAL problems facing this country.

    June 14, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  6. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    This is part of why the Dems always lose... instead of rallying around this guy, like the GOP would, they throw him to the wolves! When will they ever grow a pair and FIGHT?????!!!!!

    June 14, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  7. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Weiner is a good shield of distraction for the Republicans who should be working on jobs they promised but haven't produced. And knowing Boehner and the GOP they will use that as an excuse for doing nothing, yet they control Congress.

    June 14, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  8. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Why is this talk about if he should or shouldn't resign so important? I'd like to see the same energy for Vitter to resign. He comitted an actual crime - supporting prostitution. Weiner hasn't done anything clearly illegal. Let him stay until the ethics investigation is complete.

    June 14, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  9. russ

    This isn't a news story anymore. Just like all the press time you give Palin, enough is enough. It won't go away as long as everyone keeps talking about it. It just isn't worth talking about. If everyone in congress resigned over things like this we wouldn't have a congress. Get the hell over it and leave the guy alone.

    June 14, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  10. Dennis

    The Democrats should get some backbone and support him, he did nothing illegal. They should focus on the real issues and not take part in the media supported circus.

    June 14, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  11. Byrd

    Millions of good, honest people out of work and this clown thinks he should keep his job and that we should simply overlook his perverted actions. Well, we're all tired of doing that for a Congress which does absolutely nothing for us, while lining their pockets with payola from corporations. There is no honor in Washington DC, we we still don't have to put up with this kind of depravity.

    June 14, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  12. Smythe

    The only reason that it's taking away from those issues is because they keep responding to questions about Weiner. He did nothing illegal and he abused the privileges of his office no way whatsoever. If the Democratic party truly wants to prove it is progressive and liberal, people should step up and say that while the extramarital nature of Weiner's activities is a shame, his private matter has become regrettably public, but as an American, he's done nothing that millions of other citizens have done. This whole issue is pathetic – not because of Weiner's stupid actions, but because of how riled up everyone is getting about it. You want to focus on the issues? Focus on the issues and stop discussing a stupid internet scandal. The next time a reporter asks you about Weiner, let them know you're no longer talking about him. He's an elected official whose constituents want for him to remain in office. End of story.

    June 14, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  13. SF

    Where's the same anger for David Vitter?....i'ma dem, and i'm getting tired of this story! CNN SUCKS!!!

    June 14, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  14. josepjh

    Did he wait to send profane pictures to ask his wife first? So, stop being a hypocrite and exit with what little dignity you have left.

    June 14, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  15. Steve Jones

    Weiner, you're cooked! A supremely arrogant, presumptuous and condescending fetishist of Zionism. What hubris followed by nemesis. Can we all join and hope that Netanyahu and his paracletes will be next?

    June 14, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  16. steve

    Other than an indiscretion that should involve only his wife, did he break any laws? Anyone else out there anywhere ever do anything pervy? Were any of them underage? Are there only a handful of people in this country who give the porn industry billions each year? People like sex folks. They always have, and probably always will. They like excitement. Unless he broke any laws, if he wants to keep it, he should keep the job and let the voters kick him out when the time is right as the system dictates.

    June 14, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. Millie Bea

    If the Democrats had solved some of our pressing domestic issues this year they would not have to be acting all high and mighty over Anthony Weiner. This highly feigned moral stance is baloney. They shouod do what the Republicans are doing about Gingrich- don't even mention it- it's an embarrassment that isn't worth breath. He's whipped- whipped by a woman that looks like a duck and whipped to the point that he is in hock up to his eyeballs buying thr duck jewelery ( I guess she thinks it will make her look less like a duck..
    Everyone just said, Newt is fiscally irresponsible and then just zipped it and went on to other subjects.

    June 14, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. Mr Pragmatic

    No, Weiner doesn't need to resign. Why should he? Has even one good reason been put forth yet? In a word, no.

    On the other hand, if he is forced out there are a number of other who logically should also be forced out.

    Newt Gingrich (philandering cheater, womanizer)
    John Ensign (forced sex with the wife of an employee)
    Larry Craig (looking for sex in a mens room)
    David Vitter (married, but having boinky boink with prostitutes)
    Clarence Thomas (blatant sexual harrassment)

    Shall I continue?

    June 14, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  19. Millie Bea

    His constituents get to decide unless he has broken a law.

    June 14, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  20. narina

    Why should he resign? With job security like that, medical, retirement benefits, gyms, meals provided, etc, he'd be a fool to quit. Rather let the fools who voted for him, and who continue to support him, pay for his lifestyle. You vote for him, you get him, you deserve him!

    June 14, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  21. paul

    Tell them you'll resign right after Sen. Vitter resigns for his indiscretions. Dems, quit playing ball on Republican terms. If you are tired of talking about then DON'T talk about it, for goodness sakes. I can't stand the Repubs but the Dems need to grow a pair or they'll continue to get eaten alive.

    June 14, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  22. Carmen

    Who cares? I am a Democrat and think Weiner was stupid but why are we carrying this thing on and on and on. Nobody is going to even want to sit next to him on a bus and he really did no molesting he just made himself look more stupid than he is. Why are men always wanting to flaunt their body parts like we women really care to look at them? UCK! What a skinny little dork. Please let this thing go away. He couldn't harm a fly. The did nothing to Vitter so what kind of example is that.? Men are so egotistical...ha ha ha ha.

    June 14, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  23. Richard-Missouri

    McCarthy is just angry that Weiner did not show her his weiner! All kidding aside, Weiner is going to be very difficult to get rid of. His seeking "treatment" is not so much designed to get him help, as it is about him keeping his job. After all, the Americans with Disabilities Act will prevent him from being fired for having a "disease", for which he is being "treated". THIS is what the leave of absence and "treatment" are REALLY about! As soon as th guy has some diagnosis, and a treatment plan, he'll announce he's back, and working to get healthy, and regain the trust of his constituents, and his lawyers will dare Congress to try and expel him.

    June 14, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  24. Mike

    Why didnt these so called moral democrats pressure for Bill Clinton to resign during his time. Mr. Weiner looks like a soft target. He should not resign. Let the ethics committe do its job and suggest their recommendation to the house. Thats why I like republicans in the house. They protect their own and that is the reason why I will be voting republican from now on.

    June 14, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  25. Mascon

    Why are American so into punishment and overlooking redemption? He did something silly but many read into it as something else. He simply embarrassed himself and I am sure he has learned his lesson about social media and probably won't do it again. He will be a better person and representative for it. Simple! btw with Twitter followers have choices.If they do not appreciate Tweets from someone simply unfollow. Some people are so shallow they simply cannot think deep enough.

    June 14, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
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