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Weiner's Lead in the Mayoral Race a 'Cartoon Thing,' Rangel Says

 Congressman Charles Rangel, left, with mayoral candidate Bill Thompson
Congressman Charles Rangel, left, with mayoral candidate Bill Thompson
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DNAinfo/Colby Hamilton

EAST HARLEM —  Rep. Charles Rangel of Manhattan threw cold water on his former colleague Anthony Weiner’s status as a front-runner in the mayor’s race Tuesday.

“Every time you mention Anthony Weiner's name no one can challenge the fact that it's well known, and I'll leave it to all of you as to well know for what,” Rangel said, standing alongside his candidate for mayor, Bill Thompson. “But the interesting thing is that — and I don't think it's reflected in the poll — is that everyone smiles when you mention his name.”

Weiner’s former coworkers in Congress have reportedly been unsupportive of his return to politics. Rangel, who had refrained from taking a hard line on Weiner, doubted voters would stick with the candidate who had resigned from office after Tweeting lewd photos of himself.

“It's more of a cartoon thing — as a, ‘Would you believe?’ — than it is comparing him to who really you would want to be proud of…before he became mayor,” Rangel said, remarking on Weiner’s standing in the polls.

According to the latest Quinnipiac poll, Weiner is in a virtual tie with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, 25-23 percent.