TOTTENVILLE — Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner struggled to get his message of support to Hurricane Sandy victims in Tottenville on Friday after new revelations about his sexting scandal came out this week.
While Weiner tried to showcase the damage of Joseph Cardinale’s home on Loretto Street, which has still not been rebuilt, he fielded more questions about his online dalliances than his political views.
“It’s very difficult to get my message out in this environment, but I’m going to keep trying,” he said. “All I can do is every single day got out and say, ‘the middle class, those struggling to make it in this town, somebody’s got to be talking about issues like this.’”
With reports of other politicians calling on Weiner to drop out of the mayoral race and plummeting poll numbers, Weiner vowed to stay in the race and let the voters decide.
“Voters I want to make this decision,” he said. “They’ve got plenty of information about me to make it, and I want to give them more every day.”
“It is not, I believe, the be all and end all to my campaign,” Weiner said.
Weiner said that more women may come out with details about his sexting exploits, but eventually the conversation would move back to his platform and the issues. This was the first stop on Staten Island after it came out on Tuesday that Weiner had cyber trysts with at least three more woman after he resigned.
Some residents who showed up to the press conference told him to step out of the race for mayor.
“His interest is not necessarily in the city of New York, or it’s people, nor the middle class,” said Peg Brunda, 59, a retired teacher who lives in the neighborhood. “His interest is in his own ego.”
Weiner repeatedly said he would stay in the race, and understands that some voters would not be won back easily after his new revelations.
His stop in Tottenville was meant to highlight the troubles Cardinale has, who has stayed with his in-laws since Sandy wiped out his first floor.
Cardinale’s, who has lived in the home for 14 years, only received $165.35 from his home owner's insurance and a small sum from FEMA to cover the estimated over $500,000 he needs to pay and rebuild his home before he can move back in.
“I definitely need some help from organizations,” he said. “I want to come back to my home, that we miss.”