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New Yorkers react to Weiner sexting scandal with jokes, calls to drop out

By Michael Pearson and Rande Iaboni, CNN
updated 10:20 AM EDT, Wed July 24, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The latest sexting revelations make Weiner the focus of ridicule for many
  • Criticism on social media overwhelms the voices of remaining supporters
  • Weiner acknowledges sending explicit texts after resigning from Congress in 2011
  • He says he will stay in the mayoral race with his wife's backing

New York (CNN) -- Sexting politician Anthony Weiner's wife may love him, forgive him and believe in him. But if a sampling of public sentiment Wednesday morning is any indication, the rest of New York doesn't seem to be so sure the former congressman should continue his quest to become the city's next mayor.

"Wow, this guy is such a ... I don't want to use any bad words," New Yorker Eric Patel said Wednesday. "But how can you repeatedly do this thing, and he has no shame. And he's like, 'Oh, I'm still running for mayor after all this.'"

Weiner said Tuesday that he would remain in the mayoral race despite the emergence of new lewd text messages and photos, including some sent after he was forced to resign from Congress in 2011 after the emergence of similar messages -- which he at first said were placed on his account by Internet hackers.

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His wife, Huma Abedin, stood by him at a news conference Tuesday responding to the scandal.

"We discussed all of this before he decided to run for mayor, so really what I want to say is, I love him, I have forgiven him, I believe in him, and as we have said from the beginning, we are moving forward," she said.

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To be sure, Weiner still has his supporters.

"Stay STRONG, hang in there, we got your back like you've had ours all these years!!!" Facebook user Linda Flores posted on Weiner's Facebook page.

"So he is a pervert ... who cares," another supporter, Vince Tricoli, wrote on the page.

"Why is his marriage our business? Am I missing something?" Twitter user jaclynf12h wrote.

But such sentiments are harder and harder to find among the endless stream of critical messages on social media that frequently crack wise at Weiner's expense.

"Damn son, are you OK in the head? You wanna be an anonymous pervert you gotta stop running for office" Facebook user David Gibson said on Weiner's page.

Twitter user LOD19m, wrote, "When I try to picture Anthony Weiner presiding over a disaster like 9/11 or Sandy, all I see is a man in an NYPD windbreaker and no pants."

As news of the lewd messages spreads, Weiner is under increasing pressure to drop out -- including from New York newspaper editorial boards and other candidates. A New York Times/Siena College poll last week placed him second among candidates for the Democratic nomination.

And despite his pleas Tuesday for another chance, New Yorkers appear increasingly unwilling to forgive or forget.

"People all over the world are laughing at New Yorkers because of your actions, Mr. Weiner," Facebook user Carolyn Quin wrote on Weiner's page. "Thanks a heap for making the entire city look as low-class and ridiculous as you."

Anthony Weiner timeline

CNN's Rande Iaboni reported from New York; Michael Pearson reported and wrote from Atlanta.

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