Christine Quinn calls Weiner scandal 'a circus'

Holly Bailey
National Correspondent
Anthony Weiner, New York mayoral candidate, listens during a news conference, Thursday, July 25, 2013, in New York. Weiner introduced his proposal for a "non profit czar" should he become mayor, but a new poll suggests his new sexting scandal is taking a toll on his mayoral prospects. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

NEW YORK — For the third day in a row, mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn took aim at rival Anthony Weiner, arguing his admission that he continued to send sexual messages to women he met online after he left Congress has become a distraction from real issues in the race for City Hall.

Speaking to reporters at an event where she was touting a plan to expand transportation service around the city, Quinn called the scandal enveloping Weiner’s campaign “a circus” — though she again stopped short of suggesting he quit the race.

“It’s sad the mayor’s race has become such a circus,” Quinn declared. “We really need to have a real race about things that matter to voters. Congressmember Weiner has shown just a pattern of reckless behavior, an inability to tell the truth, and what New Yorkers deserve is a mayor with a record of delivering for them, of vision, and a level of maturity and responsibility. … I just really want the race to get back to those kind of conversations, and not the circus that we see that is somewhat like 'Groundhog Day' and has been stuck in for quite some time.”

Asked if that is possible if Weiner stays in the race, Quinn replied, “I believe it is. I believe we have to because that’s the conversation people want to have.”

Quinn’s comments came as Weiner has steadfastly refused to leave the race after his admission this week that he exchanged sexual messages with at least three women after he was forced out of Congress for sexting with women who were not his wife. Speaking at an event in Brooklyn on Thursday, Weiner insisted his behavior was “in the past” and that he was focused on getting back to serious issues in the race, not a debate over his “personal failings.”

But while Weiner insisted he would forge on in the race, his campaign scheduled an event on Friday afternoon on Staten Island about post-Superstorm Sandy recovery in a location that is hard to get to by public transportation — and likely preventing many members of the New York press corps from attending.

On Friday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has steadfastly refused to comment on Weiner’s latest troubles, criticized the media for focusing so much coverage on the ex-lawmaker’s personal drama.

"If we devoted a quarter of the space to, 'Tell us what you'd (do) in the real world, where's the money gonna come from to deliver the things you promised,' the dialogue would be a lot better," Bloomberg said on his weekly radio show, according to Capital New York. "So sure, it takes away.”

Asked about Bloomberg’s comments, Quinn said she wasn’t sure if it was “useful” to get into a blame game over coverage.

“New Yorkers have real issues, and they deserve to have a mayor that is prepared to work with them to solve the challenges they have, reduce the problems that they have, and they deserve to have a mayor’s race that is focused on them,” Quinn said. “I think everybody needs to do everything they can to keep the mayor’s race focused on the people that matter, 8.4 million New Yorkers.”