Anthony Weiner asked an elderly voter at a meeting in Brooklyn on Thursday if she was flirting with him.
The former Democratic Congressmen stepped down in June 2011 after a “sexting scandal” was made public. Dubbed “Weinergate,” Wiener, who is married, apparently used Twitter to send sexually explicit pictures of himself to women.
As Weiner was answering questions at a Friends of the United Block Association in Brooklyn, an elderly woman tentatively raised her hand.
“Were you raising your hand or flirting with me?” Wiener asked her.
The largely supportive audience responded with reportedly strained laughter.
“It was a joke,” Weiner sternly told The New York Observer.
Since deciding to run for mayor, Weiner has been receiving mixed responses from critics. In a Friday radio interview, Weiner discussed “New York-style” difference of opinion he had on Wednesday with Democratic district leader Jessie Strauss, who brought up the sexting scandal.
At a small meeting in Williamsburg on Wednesday, Strauss told Weiner he would not be supporting his campaign.
“Listen, if you believe that my personal failings disqualify me, don’t vote for me,” Wiener told him. “But, my friend, I’m not sure exactly what it is that you’re asking for.”
As the exchange grew heated, Wiener said, "I’m gonna win this election, OK? And I’m gonna govern this city really well. And I’m gonna do it based on a foundation of Democratic ideals, and I’m gonna do it on a foundation of progressive values, and I’m gonna do it smart."
Weiner told WCBS radio Friday that he enjoys being surrounded by many different opinions.
“I’d say, basically, standing up for want you believe in, speaking clearly to people, and understanding they’re gonna push back pretty hard,” Weiner told WCBS radio host Steve Schoot.
“I frankly like that tussle of politics and tussle of the way we do things in New York. You know, you can have five New Yorkers standing in a circle, and you can have 12 or 13 different opinions and I like it that way.”