Candidates Spat With Weiner At Forum

By Luis Gronda
Staff Writer
A mayoral forum in Laurelton last Thursday night discussed issues of importance to Southeast Queens residents, but also saw the much-talked-about Anthony Weiner sexting scandal brought up once again.

Anthony Weiner listens to opponents during a candidates’ forum in Laurelton last week. Photo by Ira Cohen

Anthony Weiner listens to opponents during a candidates’ forum in Laurelton last week. Photo by Ira Cohen

Two of the candidates at last week’s forum, Comptroller John Liu and Republican candidate George McDonald, criticized Weiner for sending lewd messages to several women during his time as Congressman while pumping up their own candidacy.

“You can rest assured that at night I’ll be resting up for the next day’s work and at night, I certainly won’t be taking pictures of myself,” Liu said, while answering the question about what is the primary role of the Mayor of New York City.

McDonald was even more aggressive in his attacks at Weiner, calling him a “self- pleasuring freak” at one point during the night.

“There are some people here that work in public service and I commend them and then there are others that do self service. And I believe we just heard from one of them,” he said, speaking after Weiner’s turn.

McDonald, who is the president and founder of The Doe Fund, continued on with his criticism, telling a story about how he was unable to explain the scandal to his granddaughter when she asked about the former Congressman.

“How do you explain to a 10-year-old, who’s smart and watches the news every night, what this campaign is about,” he said. “I’m telling you what it’s about. It’s about putting personal interests above your [the voters] interests.”

After the “self-pleasuring freak” comment, the forum’s moderator, Roger McMillan, threatened to cut off McDonald’s microphone if he did not stop dissing Weiner.

“We have to stick to the issues. There is no one here that is sin-free,” McMillan said.

Weiner responded to the criticism by the other candidates, although he did not address either by name.

“I’ve had a lot of people chirping at the fringes, you heard from one of them earlier. People trying to slow me down, people saying ‘you don’t want to wage this fight, sit down, we don’t want to hear from you,’” he said. “This is the way it’s going to be when I’m Mayor. People…trying to push me and I’m going to keep fighting for the middle class and those struggling to make it.”

Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127,, or @luisgronda.