WASHINGTON – A top Democrat called on Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) to resign Wednesday, after an image of the congressman’s erect penis leaked on the Internet.
“Having the respect of your constituents is fundamental for a member of Congress,” Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), who serves as recruitment chair for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told Politico. “In light of Anthony Weiner’s offensive behavior online, he should resign.”
The remarks signal growing Democratic fears that Weiner’s confessed online interactions with young women could harm the party as it prepares for an extremely consequential 2012 election in which the White House and both chambers of Congress are up for grabs.
Schwartz isn’t the only Democrat expressing those fears publicly.
“I think at this point it would probably be a good thing if he would go ahead and resign,” Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) told an Arkansas radio station, Politico reported. Former Democratic National Committee chair Tim Kaine, who is running for the Senate in Virginia, told CBS-19, “Lying publicly about something like this is unforgivable and he should resign.”
A tearful Weiner accepted responsibility and apologized for his actions Monday but refused to resign.
Numerous politicians have refused to resign after sex-related scandals revealed in recent years, including Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) and Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC).