At this stage of his flailing campaign, New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner is pretty much angry at everyone.
Nancy Pelosi. John Boehner. The New York Times. Mayor Bloomberg. Bike lanes.
Weiner went after them all in an often-testy interview with BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith Monday night at a Manhattan bar, during the latest instalment of the BuzzFeed Brews series.
Before the event — which was scheduled Aug. 1 — Weiner got more tepid poll news, as a record 80% of statewide voters said they viewed him unfavorably and 68% of New York State voters said both his candidacy and that of Eliot Spitzer for the city comptroller position were “embarrassing.”
“Coverage has been fairly brutal,” Weiner said, when asked about the plunge in polling that has followed the latest high-profile bout of revelations over his online sexual relationships.
Later, Weiner went on to blast the editors at the New York Times — the same publication that spring-boarded his run for mayor with a glamorous magazine profile about his post-scandal playbook in April.
“The New York Times — wait for it — doesn’t want me to win,” Weiner said, adding that the publication’s reporters were “lazy” when reporting on his legislative track record in Congress and that its editors’ heads were “exploding” at the possibility of him becoming mayor.
He added a dig at publisher Arthur Sulzberger, when Smith asked Weiner if the two had spoken recently. The Times called on Weiner to drop out after the latest sexting revelations emerged late last month.
“He’s alive, right?” Weiner said.
Weiner maintained that he had a chance to climb back from fourth place among Democratic primary candidates for mayor.
He did so while sounding noncommittal on the possibility of endorsing some of the current Democratic candidates, especially City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the current frontrunner. He questioned why Quinn hasn’t been subject to the same kind of scrutiny for enabling Bloomberg’s third term in office as he is for his online relationships. And he railed against what he termed “policy jihadists” unable to reach compromise on issues like bike lanes in the city.
There were clear signs, again, that Weiner is growing tired of the questions surrounding his personal life. He bristled at one particular question Smith asked, which Smith said was the most popularly requested by BuzzFeed staff and the Internet in general.
“Why didn’t you use Snapchat?” Smith asked Weiner, referring to the popular photo messaging application.
“I don’t have a good answer to that,” Weiner said, looking visibly irritated and angry.
Here’s the full video of Weiner’s interview with Smith:
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