Exclusive: Dem colleagues privately urge Weiner resignation 'to preserve his own dignity'
June 8th, 2011
05:24 PM ET
10 years ago

Exclusive: Dem colleagues privately urge Weiner resignation 'to preserve his own dignity'

Washington (CNN) - A Democratic lawmaker familiar with discussions with and about Anthony Weiner told CNN that Weiner’s colleagues are telling him this afternoon he should resign “to preserve his own dignity.”

This Democratic congressman says this afternoon’s public call by Democratic Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pennsylvania, for Weiner to resign is part of a new stepped up effort to force Weiner out. Schwartz heads up recruiting efforts for House Democrats for the 2012 election cycle. The source said the effort includes private and public calls explicitly telling Weiner it’s time to leave Congress.

“There is increased resentment by his colleagues that far from having a press conference where he was going to tell the truth and roll with the flames, the flames are just getting worse and he’s dragging us through it. We really thought by now, after the press conference, we would be able to talk about the Republicans’ Social Security privatization bill and instead we keep talking about Anthony Weiner. And people are getting angrier and more resentful,” said the Democratic congressman.

The lawmaker would not speak on the record in order to discuss private conversations, and would not give the names of Weiner’s colleagues making these private calls.

This Democratic congressman cited a new x-rated photograph now flying across the internet, allegedly of Weiner, as the latest example of how this issue is not going away, but said it is unclear if Weiner is going to listen.

“I think he is truly conflicted and the people around him are truly conflicted. Nobody knows what is going to work. I mean, he doesn’t know what he wants to do. Really, I think he’s really conflicted about this. But there is real growing resentment among his colleagues,” said the Democratic congressman.

In addition to Schwartz, calls from other House Democrats for Weiner to step down started trickling in on Wednesday.

Maine House Democratic Rep. Michael Michaud told his local newspaper, the Kennebec Journal, this morning that Weiner should resign.

"I am hoping that the congressman will do what's right for his family, and probably the best decision would be to step down," Michaud said.

Late Wednesday afternoon Indiana Democratic Congressman Joe Donnelly, who is running for Senate, called on Weiner to step down from Congress and said he’s donating $5,000 in campaign contributions he received from Weiner to Indiana charities.

"Enough is enough. It's time for Congressman Weiner to resign. His actions have disgraced the Congress. Everyone should be focused on jobs and the economy and his refusal to do the right thing is a distraction,” Donnelly said in a statement.

A senior conservative Democrat, Rep. Mike Ross, Arkansas, told the AP at an event in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, that Weiner should have resigned when he confessed that he sent inappropriate photos. Ross also said “appropriate authorities” should investigate. Ross’ office confirmed the congressman’s comments to CNN.

Massachusetts Rep. Niki Tsongas’ Chief of Staff Katie Elbert Enos, released a statement saying, “The Congresswoman thinks it would be appropriate for Congressman Weiner to step down.”

And Christopher Schuler, spokesman for North Carolina Democrat Larry Kissell told CNN, "Congressman Kissell believes that Representative Weiner should resign."

The Democratic lawmaker familiar with the behind the scenes talks also said to expect more public calls Thursday but warned that this story is “changing by the hour.”

Asked about the new public calls for Weiner to resign Wednesday, a senior Democratic source said, “It’s a signal that represents a growing concern in the caucus.”

soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. GW

    It's up to his constituents–not other politicians or pundits. If he's served them well and they believe that this is not the end of the world, then they will vote for him and we should all move on. Although this may be a case of really bad juvenile judgment (adolescents keep sending photos of themselves via social media that are often much worse) he hasn't broken the law and to my knowledge none of the recipients of the photos has complained. Let it go. It's between him and his wife and politically between him and the voters in his district.

    June 8, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  2. Democrat Swamp Inspector - Help Wanted, Now Hiring, Overtime Possibilities

    it appears the full uncensored unadulterated Weiner weiner picture is now lose on the internet. I will put money on a resignation within 24 hours. Darn, it's been a GREAT 2 weeks!!

    June 8, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  3. Democrat Swamp Inspector - Help Wanted, Now Hiring, Overtime Possibilities

    Dem colleagues privately urge Weiner resignation 'to preserve his own dignity'
    They're joking , right?!! When the story first broke, this was an option. At this point, preserving his weiner is about as good as he can expect. Any 'dignity" is looong gone!

    June 8, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  4. GW

    This is a problem for him. Apparently Breitbart, who circulated the photos so far, also has some kind of X-rated photo that he's threatening to use if there's any retaliation. Thus, Mr. Breitbart is engaging in blackmail. The question is, should we all go along with this and believe that blackmail is okay? I think Rep. Weiner has already suffered enough humiliation. This is getting to become very sadistic. A blackmailer is a blackmailer. Period.

    June 8, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  5. Fed Up

    Not sure why this is such a big deal. He is well qualified for President now. He lies very well, and with no guilt. Perfect politician!

    June 8, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  6. Oregon Calling

    Sorry, Not a believer as it would require more than this for a REPUBLICAN to resign> Vitter.

    Peace 🙂

    June 8, 2011 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  7. wishing

    I hope he does not let pride go before saving his marriage, preserving some dignity, or hurting his party constituents.

    June 8, 2011 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  8. diridi

    Mark folley, splitzer, sanford, vitter...all....do not resign...weiner...good luck...stay strong....it is quiet common in politics...GOP thugs drama...that's it...

    June 8, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  9. Hammerer

    One thing that I will agree with is that Weiner is a great Democrat.

    June 8, 2011 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  10. Democrat Swamp Inspector - Help Wanted, Now Hiring, Overtime Possibilities

    I think Rep. Weiner has already suffered enough humiliation.
    Anthony Weiner is the ONLY one that caused it and determines how much he gets.

    A blackmailer is a blackmailer.
    This is a criminal offense so I suggest you immediately go to the authorities with your imaginery proof. I'm sure they will have a good laugh.

    June 8, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  11. Becker

    He put the photos out there. If he is not proud of them he should not taken them or sent them. More of it is coming rest assured. Weiner has been great at making enemies and I am sure they are willing to pay for them. Its very sad but has no one to blame but himself.

    June 8, 2011 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  12. Kevin in Atlanta

    I thought him leaving office was up to his constituents? I was taught to believe that's how democracy works...

    June 8, 2011 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  13. Redeye Dog

    What goes around comes around. This is a fitting end to an arrogant, loud mouth liberal. He deserves to get kicked to the curb for embarrassing his district, the democratic party and the country...

    June 8, 2011 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  14. Justin

    That's a stance too wide for these parts, son.

    June 8, 2011 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  15. DAVE

    i wounder if the republican seator who tried to get sex in an airport restroom is still in the senate?newt left the congress because he was cooking the books of his campaign monies and he is running for president! when will the press and the american people understand that these people who serve are not gods! until a real law is broken like trying to get sex in an airport restroom no one should be forsed to leave congress!

    June 8, 2011 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  16. s clark

    Don't you people who think it's just a "juvenille" issue realize that this guy is now in a position where he could be blackmailed in more serious ways than photographs, corrupted, induced to provide government information he shouldn't, and on and on. Obviously he's not an honest guy – no way. So if he isn't honest in his personal life that's OK? Do you think, then, that he's honest in his professional life? The guy got caught, that's why he "apologized". He needs to find another job, and his peers recognize that so why can't you?

    June 8, 2011 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  17. RS

    One might hope that a public servant, sworn to represent the citizens of this country, would hold his office, his constituents, his nation and his party in high enough regard to resign without being forced out or voted out. His failure to do so demonstrates the same thing that his recently-revealed personal actions do: that he selfishly puts himself before those he has promised to faithfully support and serve.

    June 8, 2011 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  18. tpbco

    And a liar is a liar. Period.

    How could, and why would, anyone believe him again.

    Like Clinton, if he would lie about this, what wouldn't he lie about.

    June 8, 2011 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  19. ecoli

    Wiener did this up on himself. After the performance he put on last week, he does not deserve any trust what so ever. Also, in another article he said he could not be sure that there were no underage girls...It is time for him to go. I am surprised that the Republicans are also calling for him to go...I think the best thing for the Republicans are Weiner and Rangel as the face of the New York Democrats for 2012.

    June 8, 2011 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  20. Phil Hansen

    I urge Weiner to hang in there. The republicans would like nothing better than to whack his wiener.

    June 8, 2011 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  21. marty

    Congressman Weiner obviously has a lot of time on his hands to be able to engage in these extra curricular activities. He is at least the sixteenth member in Congress since the Clinton scandal to be publicly cited for his obnoxious and inappropriate behavior. Politicians across the nation are pushing for all kinds of cuts, most of them are directed at local budgets and government services for the middle class. Weiner's actions as well as those before him, (Vitter, Ensign, etc) indicate that these congressmen seem to have too many perks, too many entitlements, and too many staffers who handle much of the workload they, themselves, should be doing. Cut the staff, eliminate the perquisites, cut the expense accounts, reduce the pensions, drop the free health insurance and totally eliminate the lifetime benefits after retirement. This would be a beginning and many of these 'exclusive club members' may experience genuine family responsibilities. And, the end result may put a dent in our national debt.

    June 8, 2011 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  22. Bill

    Whats the biG deal about this
    . Its between his wife and him self.

    June 8, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |

    OKAY! So he goofed. If his respondent didn't like it why didn't she bar his e-mails. Some things are personal and should be left that way.

    June 8, 2011 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    The disgrace here is how quickly his colleagues turned against him - There is a quality known as "menchkeit"(forgive the spelling) - its about loyalty, his colleagues will run just to disassociate from him regardless of the claims against him.
    i agree what he did was reprehensible on a moral level, not on a political level. For God's sake let's get on with the business of govening and not worry about this crap...

    June 8, 2011 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  25. bready

    I am pleasing to the Democratic Party please stand by Weiner and stop trying to put him out of office. The republican party stand by their man Vitter so why can you all stand by him. We cannot lose another vote in the house,

    June 8, 2011 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
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