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Another day, another lesson from Anthony Weiner on "how not to run for mayor of a major American city."
On Tuesday night, the New York City mayoral candidate and former House member got into a tiff with Republican candidate George McDonald right before the start of an AARP forum. It may not have happened directly in-front of the cameras, but as with everything Weiner, it of course became public. New York 1 caught the audio and video, and put together this transcript:
McDonald: I said keep your hands to yourself.
Weiner: I heard what you said.
McDonald: Don't put your hands on me ever again.
Weiner: Really? What's going to happen if I do? You're a tough guy now?
McDonald: I am. I can defend myself.
Weiner: [inaudible] ... your anger issues under control.
McDonald: I don't have any anger issues.
Weiner: But you do, grandpa.
McDonald is 69 years old; Weiner is 48.
What was happening here? Were we actually close to our first NYC mayoral brawl? Likely not, and, in Weiner's defense, McDonald does seem to be trying to get under Weiner's skin.
But, grandpa? At an AARP forum? Even leaving that aside, whose best possible insult is "grandpa," outside of a 14-year-old kid on a skateboard in 1993? Was Weiner just making a spectacularly ill-timed effort at reining in more typical obscenity?
In any event, AARP is understandably not impressed. AARP State Director Beth Finkel said that some remarks made at the forum were "unfortunate" and that age "should not be a factor in politics, or anything else."
This isn't the worst thing to happen to Weiner's campaign in the last week. But it's still a pretty mystifying speed bump in one of the most consistently confusing/entertaining/bizarre campaigns we've seen in a while.
You can watch the video itself over at The Huffington Post.