Weiner sorry after woman uses gay slur
June 20th, 2013
07:56 PM ET
5 years ago

Weiner sorry after woman uses gay slur

(CNN) – New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner issued an apology Thursday after a woman he was speaking to referred to his Democratic primary rival, Christine Quinn, using a gay slur.

Weiner said he had admonished the woman at the time, but was apologizing if anyone was left with the impression he condoned what she said about Quinn, who is a lesbian.

"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,” Weiner said in a statement that was distributed by his campaign on Twitter.

“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," he said.

The exchange, which came while Weiner was canvassing New Yorkers for signatures on his ballot petition, was captured by a reporter for the Washington Post.

“You a registered Democrat?” Weiner asked a woman the Post described as elderly.

“I am, and I’m not voting for uh, what’s her name? The dyke,” the woman responded.

Weiner asked the woman to sign his petition before saying, “You really shouldn’t talk that way about people.”

After she apologized, the Post said Weiner responded, ““It’s okay. It’s not your fault.”

When asked about the exchange with the woman later, Weiner said he has “admonished her to not say anything further,” but that he had “no memory of saying anything beyond that.”

Weiner is making a political comeback attempt. He left Congress in 2011 after getting caught up in a lewd messaging scandal.

Polls have shown him trailing Quinn in their race for a spot on the ballot in November. Other Democrats in the race include New York City Public Advocate Bill de Balsio's and former City Comptroller Bill Thompson.

If she wins the Democratic primary and goes on to win the general election in November, Quinn would become New York’s first female and first openly gay mayor.

Filed under: Anthony Weiner • New York
soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. TeddyN

    lol, loved this comment, think the author needs more help from the school board himself: He has a great wife , a great child , why dose he feel the need to be mayor ? His comeback has more to do with himself and his need for retribution .

    Why not start on the school bored !

    June 21, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  2. Malory Archer


    What an obscene joke this guy is. Way to go, Dems. This is your poster child.


    Two words: Mark Sanford.

    June 21, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. Data Driven

    (shaking my head)

    To those who are wondering why he's apologizing: he's apologizing for his own cowardly behavior. Instead of saying, more or less, "Get out of my crowd, bigot", he asked for her signature, and even said, "It's not your fault."

    As so often in life, it's the little things that matter, that tell the story about a person. Weiner came face-to-face with a "character moment" and failed spectacularly. This was a no-brainer.

    June 21, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  4. Fair is Fair

    Malory Archer


    What an obscene joke this guy is. Way to go, Dems. This is your poster child.


    Two words: Mark Sanford.
    One word: Deflection.

    June 21, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  5. motorfirebox

    Yeah, after Mark Sanford–and Newt Gingrich–the GOP doesn't have a leg to stand on when it comes to politicians coming back from scandals. Weiner tweeted some NSFW pics, so what? I don't see why he should have stepped down in the first place.

    June 21, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  6. holspark

    He is apologizing causes someone else is a Dink?? Political Correctness run amok.

    June 21, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  7. Jim

    This dude can't get out of his own way. He needs to accept that it just ain't gonna happen for him, and go get a real job.

    June 21, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  8. Getoverit

    @Malory Archer


    What an obscene joke this guy is. Way to go, Dems. This is your poster child.

    Two words: Mark Sanford.
    But Johnny did it too!

    June 21, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  9. joesmith

    mark sanford is in, and it wouldn't surprise me if weiner gets in too; should he make it, he along with sanford, and kennedy before them, will be yes men for every dumb leigislation, or should I say, every special interest project that comes down the pike..the powerful$$ men love public sevants with skeletons in their closets, take boener for one, so they can bribe them into what fills their pockets even further, $$$

    June 21, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  10. eric

    There's so much here!!! So .. .you have to apologizes for being around someone stupid. And
    "If she wins the Democratic primary and goes on to win the general election in November, Quinn would become New York’s first female and first openly gay mayor."

    Does that mean we can still have our 'first' female (non-gay) mayor? If there's an openly gay man to run later would he be the 'first'? How many ways can we be 'first'?

    June 21, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  11. downwithnazis

    Weiner will be NYCs next mayor. Look out republicans and fatcats.

    June 21, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  12. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    A certain class of politicians, representing perhaps 20% of the group, have the brains of a snail and the morals of a bedraggled alley cat. And, they are all afflicted with the classic political version of foot-in-mouth disease. All indications are that this class of hopeless nitwits is growing.

    Unfortunately, they appeal to enough voters that they often win elections. I fear for my grandchildren who will have to contend with these mopes

    June 21, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  13. O-Bored

    Not sure what he did wrong here–not a fan of the guy, but what was he supposed to do, punch out the old lady?

    June 21, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. Dee

    So what, she is an elderly woman and her stance on homosexuality is very normal. She grew up in a time where that behavior was illegal.

    June 21, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  15. jimmy

    The woman was being honest. Why should anyone be offended?

    June 21, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  16. Yakobi

    After suffering through Ayatollah Bloomberg, would Mayor Weiner be a step up or down?

    June 21, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  17. tet1953

    Unless he has some responsibility for this person (child, spouse, sibling, etc.) he should not be apologizing for her. I don't know if patronizing is the right word, but I find it offensive.

    June 21, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  18. riadakram

    Weiner takes the moral high road. Okay, okay stop laughing now. No, I mean it! Stop laughing!!!

    June 21, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  19. Malory Archer


    @Malory Archer


    What an obscene joke this guy is. Way to go, Dems. This is your poster child.

    Two words: Mark Sanford.
    But Johnny did it too!


    In other words it's okay for your ilk if Johnny does it but your heads explode if Anthyon does it. The hypocrisy on the right is so thick you couldn't cut through it with a light saber!

    June 21, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  20. Charles

    Anthony Weiner is being unfairly criticized for his response, which was appropriate under the circumstances. I guess now people are responsible for things other people say? He admonished the elderly women, bye the way, in an appropriate fashion without being cruel or unduly harsh, which makes me think this story is more about politics than substance. GET THIS INTO YOUR HEADS: Mr. Weiner will be the next mayor of NYC because he is a reasonable and passionate man who fights for the middle class majority. Period.

    June 21, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  21. bryanfred

    I love these comments – she's older, it's the way people in her generation talk, etc. If this had been a Republican this story would be Exhibit A for the claim that the party is made entirely of bigots and homophobes. But since it's your guy, well, no big deal, right?

    As for what he could have done; maybe NOT ask for her signature? NOT tell her "it's not your fault"? What does that even mean? I know some New Yorkers seem to like this guy, but has it occurred to anyone that maybe he doesn't have the necessary sense to be your mayor?

    June 21, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  22. Dan Strateoli

    Shame on you, NY.

    Think hard if the person you elect to Mayoor is someione you want your children, family and friends to look up to or is a major gender-bender.

    June 21, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  23. Greg Faith

    Good luck winning the Mayor's race.

    June 21, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  24. Katie

    I don't see the big deal. If he called out the woman more aggressively, he'd be seen as a bully. In reality, the "not your fault" comment should have been left out but I can kind of see where the thought comes from. If she was elderly, as suggested, her opinions are probably based upon the imprint society left upon her over the years. She could overcome such prejudices but not without desire to do so and lots of effort.

    June 21, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  25. Patti in Dallas

    "It's OK, it's not your fault." REALLY, Mr. Weiner??!?

    That's just bizarre.

    It is most definitely her "fault" that she uses slurs and epithets to dehumanize other human beings.

    And it's *NOT* "OK."

    June 21, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
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