Anthony Weiner (L), a leading candidate for New York City mayor, stands with his wife Huma Abedin (C) during a press conference on July 23, 2013 in New York City. Weiner addressed news of new allegations that he engaged in lewd online conversations with a woman after he resigned from Congress for similar previous incidents. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
By Paul Singer, USA TODAY
The pressure is increasing on former congressman Anthony Weiner to drop out of the New York City mayor's race after his acknowledgment of another round of lewd online exchanges with women.
Weiner held a news conference Tuesday admitting that he continued to engage in inappropriate online chats even after he was forced to resign from Congress in 2011 because he had sent graphic messages - including lewd photos of himself - to women via Twitter.
But, with his wife by his side, Weiner said the bad behavior was behind him and he intends to stay in the mayor's race. Ten days ago, polls showed him narrowly leading the race for the Democratic nomination over City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
After his press conference, major New York newspapers called for Weiner to quit the race.
The New York Times wrote in an editorial, "The serially evasive Mr. Weiner should take his marital troubles and personal compulsions out of the public eye, away from cameras, off the Web and out of the race for mayor of New York City."
The Wall Street Journal said Weiner "ought to drop out of the New York City mayor's race simply because of what he's forced his wife to endure. Watching the elegant Huma Abedin stand next to her man Tuesday as he explained his latest sexually charged online exchanges was painful for a normal human being to watch. Mr. Weiner is not a normal human being."
The New York Daily News added in its own editorial, "He is not fit to lead America's premier city. Lacking the dignity and discipline that New York deserves in a mayor, Weiner must recognize that his demons have no place in City Hall."
"Weiner must also see that, having built his campaign on deception, he has badly damaged the process of selecting the city's next chief executive," the Daily News said.
Weiner has certainly changed the subject. A Tuesday mayoral forum after Weiner's press conference received scant media coverage.
Public advocate Bill DeBlasio, a Democratic mayoral candidate who trails in the race, started a petition drive on his website Wednesday morning to get Weiner to drop out. The online petition proclaims "the sideshows of this election have gotten in the way of the debate we should be having." DeBlasio trailed Quinn and Weiner by double digits in recent polling.
Weiner's revelations also created a social media frenzy. The pseudonym "Carlos Danger" -- which Weiner allegedly used to communicate with one of the women -- became a top trending topic on Twitter, with more than 52,000 mentions from more than 37,000 Twitter users by Wednesday morning.
Contributing: Martha T. Moore
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