NEW YORK CITY — Christine Quinn doesn't want Anthony Weiner to drop out of the mayor's race.
Speaking publicly for the first time since it was revealed Weiner had an additional online sexual relationship last year, Quinn spoke critically of the former congressman but stopped short of calling on him to exit the mayor’s race.
“As I said when former congress member Weiner was considering entering the race, that was, I believe, a decision for him and his family,” she said. “That was a decision for him to make. Now that he's made it, it's a decision for the voters to make.”
On Monday, the website TheDirty.com posted a claim by a woman who said she carried on an online relationship with Weiner up to the summer of 2012, more than a year after he resigned and while Abedin was pregnant with their son.
According to the site's anonymous source, after being contacted by Weiner via Facebook, they began communicating regularly online and over the phone.
The anonymous woman also claims Weiner — who reportedly went by the screen name “Carlos Danger” — offered to buy her a Chicago condo at 1235 S. Prairie Ave. where they could meet for sex.
On Tuesday, Weiner, with his wife Huma Abedin by his side, addressed the claims during a press conference, during which he admitted to carrying on the relationship.
“I said that other texts and photos were likely to come out, and today they have,” Weiner said, reading from a prepared statement. “As I have said in the past, these things that I did were wrong and hurtful to my wife and caused us to go through challenges in our marriage that extended past my resignation from Congress.”
Weiner will continue his run for mayor. On Wednesday, his campaign indicated he would be attending events later in the day.
Quinn, meanwhile, said Weiner’s latest sexual episode revealed “a clear pattern here with difficulty with the truth.”
Lying is "not a good characteristic in a mayor,” she said Wednesday.
Weiner has consistently been neck-and-neck with Quinn in polls. Quinn said she anticipated voters would begin focusing less on name recognition and more on substance in the final seven weeks until the primary.
“We're going to see more and more, even without yesterday's mess, that New Yorkers are going to be focused on the real issues that affect their lives,” she said.
Bill de Blasio, who has struggled to gain traction in the polls since Weiner entered the race, has so far been the one of only two Democrats in the race who has called for Weiner to drop out over the latest revelations; former councilman Sal Albanese is the other.
“We need to get the debate back to the issues; it’s as fundamental as that," de Blasio said during a press conference in front of City Hall Wednesday. "And the only way that’s going to happen is if [Weiner] is no longer in the race.”
Jeanne Zaino, a political science professor at New York University, said Weiner’s decision to stay means balancing the destructive effect it could have on his family with the reality of a campaign bound by little more than the candidate’s will to persevere.
“On the one hand I really do think for the good of himself and his family and the Democratic Party it would make sense for him to resign [from the mayor’s race],” she said. “On the other hand I suppose if you’re Anthony Weiner, he could be saying to himself, ‘What do I have to lose at this point?’”
However, Zaino said she sensed this could be the sexual revelation that makes voters decide they’ve had enough of Anthony Weiner.
“My gut instinct tells me that he's hanging on to a lifeboat and probably going to drown,” she said.