Embattled New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner chose, of all days, Erev Rosh Hashanah — the evening before the first of the Jewish High Holy Days — to engage in a shouting match with an Orthodox Jewish man in a Brooklyn market. According to Jacob Kornbluh, who filmed the exchange, the argument began when the man called Weiner a “scumbag” in passing.
Weiner respond “[t]akes one to know one, jackass.” The situation would have ended there had the candidate not turned around to confront the man. “What’s that?” he said. “You wait until I walk out to saying anything? That’s courage.”
At this point, the man approached Weiner and, with a finger in the candidate’s face, proceeded to berate him. “You have the nerve to even walk around in public,” he said. “You’re disgusting.”
Weiner responded by asking the man, repeatedly, “You know who judges me?” He eventually answered his own question: “Not you, not you, because you are not superior to me and you are not my G-d.”
The man, whose identity is unknown, calmly but firmly implored Weiner to “get out of the public eye, go home, get a job.”
“You know nothing,” the candidate replied. “You know nothing.”
Weiner is currently polling fourth in the Democratic primaries, with only 7 percent of likely Democratic voters supporting him.
Update, 8:32 p.m. EST:Talking Points Memo reported that Weiner’s campaign released a longer video of the argument showing the heckler making a disparaging reference to Weiner’s wife, former State Department aide Huma Abedin.
The footage shows the heckler saying in a harsh tone, “Married to an Arab,” shortly before Weiner calls him a “jackass” before the confrontation begins.
The Atlantic reported that Weiner denied having a “meltdown” on Twitter, writing, “if by melt down you mean stood up to a heckler. Yep. Did that. That’s what Mayors have to do sometimes.”
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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