Rep. Anthony Weiner Resigns
Following his admission that he engaged in sexually charged online relationships with several women, Rep. Anthony Weiner resigned Thursday amid mounting pressure to do so by Democrats and Republicans.
In resigning, Weiner admitted to his mistakes, and apologized for them. “I’m here to apologize for the personal mistakes I have made and the embarrassment that I have caused,” Weiner said at a news conference Thursday. "Unfortunately, the distraction that I have created made that impossible. So today I am announcing my resignation from Congress."
The announcement of his resignation was met with cheers by "apparent event-crashers," and at least one person in the crowd heckled the congressman while he was up at the podium, calling him a pervert. Later, as Weiner left the podium, the heckler called out "Will you maintain your hot physique"? It was revealed later that the heckler was Benjy Bronk, a writer for shock jock Howard Stern.
The high-profile Democrat held the news conference at Sheepshead Bay, a senior center in Brooklyn where he made his first campaign announcement in 1991 that he was running for New York City Council.
Thursday's press conference, however, took on a much different tone, as Weiner appeared to finally cave in to pressuring calls from both sides of the political aisle to step down.
According to The New York Times, which first reported Weiner would resign on Thursday:
Mr. Weiner’s decision reflected more than a personal failure, but followed an intense push from top Democrats who worried that the scandal was a distraction and was hurting the momentum they believed they were gaining against Republicans in the budget battle as they prepared for elections next year.
On Wednesday night, Mr. Weiner called Representatives Nancy Pelosi of California and Steve Israel of New York while they were at a White House picnic to inform them he had decided to resign, a top Democratic official said.
The news came as Democratic leaders prepared to hold a meeting on Thursday to discuss whether to strip the 46-year-old congressman of his committee assignments, a blow that would severely damage his effectiveness.
Following news of his resignation, Democrats praised Weiner for his decision.
"Congressman Weiner exercised poor judgment in his actions and poor judgment in his reaction to the revelations," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, how pushed Weiner to resign, said in a statement. "Today, he made the right judgment in resigning."
Fellow New York Democratic Rep. Steve Israel said in a statement that Weiner's decision "is right for him and his family, our party, and our country because we have serious work to do in Congress."
Rep. Nita Lowey, who was the first to issue a statement, said, "There is life after Congress for Anthony Weiner and I hope he devotes himself to repairing the damage he caused to his personal life."
President Obama and John Boehner were among those who had also previously suggested that the congressman resign after the scandal erupted.
Weiner, once considered a rising star in the Democratic party, was among the leading contenders to replace Bloomberg as New York City mayor prior to his admission last week that he sent racy photos to several women over the Internet.
It is now up to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to call for a special election and determine a date. A statement from governor's office said that Cuomo "will take the appropriate steps to ensure New Yorkers in the 9th district are fairly represented in Congress."
Here's the video of Weiner's news conference: