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Anthony Weiner reveals more sexting after Congress

July 25, 2013 8:13:24 PM PDT
Anthony Weiner said Thursday that he'd traded racy messages with as many as three women since similar sexting forced him out of Congress. But as he tried to tamp down questions about his behavior, a poll suggested the new disclosures were taking a toll on his mayoral prospects and the House's top Democrat excoriated him.

Facing a third day of renewed queries and criticism of his conduct as he continued campaigning, the married Democrat also said he supposed he'd had sexually charged exchanges with a total of six to 10 women; he'd previously capped that number at six.

Having said he has given up his life as "Carlos Danger", the name he used for salacious tweets to women who were not his wife, Anthony Weiner refers now to the perfect messenger. Apparently he's not one.

"I'm not a perfect messenger. It doesn't mean I'm a perfect man or a perfect messenger," Weiner said.

His most recent electronic girlfriend agrees.

"He was making these campaign promises that he had totally changed, and that he was a better man now, that he'd learned from his mistakes, and I am proof that, that is not true," said Sydney Leathers, allegedly one of Weiner's texting partners.

23-year-old Sydney Leathers told the show "Inside Edition" that, just before he announced he would run for mayor, Weiner asked her to delete all of their conversations.

"I mean, obviously I knew he wanted me to erase any evidence of our conversation, because that was around the time that I knew that he was going to run for mayor," Leathers said.

Weiner continues to stand before the cameras, Thursday saying there were 10 women texting and twitter partners, all while he was married and at least three since he resigned in disgrace from Congress for having texting and twitter partners.

And Thursday night, he said he wouldn't mind all 10 of them coming forward publicly.

"They have a free right to do that," Weiner said.

Voters at a Queens Mayoral Forum Thursday night seemed willing to give Weiner a chance, which must be welcome news for a man who apparently refers to himself as a "dirty old man".

"He actually said that about himself to me. The exact wording was that he is an 'argumentative, perpetually horny, middle-aged man," Leathers said.

Leathers, who hails from Mount Carmel, Ill., and Princeton, Ind., said Weiner started corresponding with her last July, more than a year after he stepped down from Congress and within weeks of a glowing People magazine cover story about his repaired marriage to Hillary Rodham Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

While Weiner says he bets voters care more about their futures than his past, some appear to have deserted him in the first poll taken entirely after his latest indiscretions were revealed.

Before the revelations, Weiner was leading most polls gauging the primary race. But a new NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll showed he fell behind City Council Speaker Christine Quinn in the crowded Democratic field.

She leads him 25 percent to 16 percent among registered Democratic voters, according to the poll, which surveyed 551 such voters Wednesday and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points. It found Weiner roughly even with city Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and former city Comptroller Bill Thompson, both at 14 percent; results were similar among likely Democratic voters.

The poll also found 55 percent of registered Democrats now have an unfavorable impression of Weiner, while 30 percent see him favorably. The numbers were nearly the reverse of a June poll by the same entities, which tallied a 52-36 percent favorable-to-unfavorable split then.

"New York City Democrats were willing to give Anthony Weiner a second chance but are reluctant to excuse his behavior now," Marist College polling director Lee Miringoff said in an analysis of the results.

Still, Democratic voters are roughly evenly split on whether he should drop out of the race, and on whether his digital dalliances will affect their votes.

Those who have donated to his campaign were also conflicted.

Paula Corsi, 46, of Queens, gave $35 to Weiner at a fundraiser June 25. She said she is concerned about this week's revelations but believes Weiner has good ideas and wants him to stay in the race.

"If the people really don't want him to run they'll tell him in September" in the primary, she said. "Let the voters decide."

But architect Charles Thanhauser, 61, said he regrets giving Weiner $100.

"The continuing texting a year after he resigned from Congress makes me think there's something extremely wrong with him," said Thanhauser, of Manhattan. "It makes me question his motives in running for office. It makes me question his judgment."

Weiner has been urged to quit the race by newspaper editorial boards some rivals. And on Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called his behavior "reprehensible" and "disrespectful of women." But she said it was up to him to decide whether he should leave the mayor's race.

Meanwhile, a new poll shows Weiner is quickly falling in light of the new revelations. Weiner now trails Christine Quinn in the Democratic primary for New York City mayor, according to a new poll. In the first poll conducted entirely after the latest scandalous details emerged, Quinn now outdistances Weiner by 9 percentage points.

"New York City Democrats were willing to give Anthony Weiner a second chance but are reluctant to excuse his behavior now," Marist College polling director Lee Miringoff said in an analysis of the results.

Still, Democratic voters are roughly evenly split on whether he should drop out of the race, and on whether his digital dalliances will affect their votes.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)


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