US lawmaker Weiner quits, citing ‘mistakes’ - Pakistan Today

US lawmaker Weiner quits, citing ‘mistakes’

US Representative Anthony Weiner has quit Congress, apologizing for the scandal over his lewd online exchanges with women that led to a political uproar.
Before a crush of news cameras in New York, the 46-year-old congressman seen until recently as a leading candidate for mayor of New York City sounded a note of remorse on Thursday “for the personal mistakes I have made and the embarrassment I have caused.” “I hoped to be able to continue the work that the citizens of my district elected me to do, to fight for the middle class and those struggling to make it,” he said at a senior center where he launched his 1992 campaign for city council. “Unfortunately, the distraction that I have created has made that impossible, so today I’m announcing my resignation from Congress.”
Hecklers interrupted his otherwise somber, four-minute news conference, with one yelling “Bye bye, pervert.” The cry hammered home just how tough a political road lay ahead for Weiner, and denied him dignity in his attempt for a sober resignation.
The lawmaker’s announcement was greeted with relief on Capitol Hill, where Weiner had faced a flurry of calls from within his own Democratic Party to resign after lying about online communications with women in which he sent several lewd photos, including one of his own bulging crotch.
“It’s difficult to watch the self-destruction of a friend, and to witness the breaking of hearts over what can only be categorized as reprehensible behavior and bad judgment,” House Democratic Caucus chairman John Larson said in a pointed message released shortly after Weiner quit.
“I hope that he will get the help he needs and that together they will work their way through this.” House Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who had called for Weiner to quit, said he “made the right judgment in resigning.” Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said his friend was focused on getting his family life in order in the aftermath of the extraordinarily embarrassing scandal that played out with near-constant tabloid and cable news coverage. “I can tell you absolutely firsthand that the only kind of recovery that Anthony Weiner is concerned about, based on the conversations that I’ve had with him, is not a political recovery, it’s personal — personal recovery with his wife and (the) baby they are expecting,” Israel told CNN.
Democrats had become increasingly worried that the scandal could hurt the party’s image, just one year before pivotal congressional and presidential elections.
President Barack Obama, speaking to ABC television in an interview to air later Friday, said he wished Weiner and his wife well. “Obviously, it’s been a tough incident for him, but I’m confident that they’ll refocus and he’ll refocus, and they’ll end up being able to bounce back,” Obama said.

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