Considering the kind of news the Weiner campaign has been dealing with lately, the intern interview with the Daily News was pretty tame and not all that damaging to Weiner's candidacy.
Until tonight, that is:
Anthony Weiner’s spokeswoman, Barbara Morgan, issued an apology tonight after a profanity-laced interview with Talking Points Memo, in which she described a former campaign intern as a fame hungry “bitch” and “slutbag” who “sucked” at her job.
Ms. Morgan said that she believed the conversation, in which she also threatened to sue the young woman, was off the record.
“In a moment of frustration, I used inappropriate language in what I thought was an off the record conversation,” Ms. Morgan said in a statement. “It was wrong and I am very sorry, which is what I said tonight when I called and emailed Olivia to apologize.”
Ms. Morgan’s tirade came following a piece in the Daily News today, in which the former intern, Olivia Nuzzi, panned the campaign, reporting that many staffers had only joined to curry favor with Mr. Weiner’s wife, Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin. She’d also dissed Ms. Morgan and other staffers’ “short résumés.”
Ms. Nuzzi declined to comment on Ms. Morgan’s comments or apology, but changed her description on Twitter to read, “Slutbag, twat and cunt. Writer for NSFWCORP.” Politicker has reached out to TPM for comment and will update when we receive a response.
Per Norm Scott, Barbara Morgan, Weiner's spokesperson, used to work for Joel Klein at the NYCDOE.
Maybe that's where she learned to talk about fellow colleagues using that kind of language.
At any rate, the wheels are coming off the Weiner campaign and it really looks like it won't be long now before he knocks off completely.
Politcker reported earlier that Weiner is getting more and more agitated as the days go on and he's forced to run gauntlets of journalists and photographers at every campaign stop and forum.
Tonight there were twice as many press people as attendees for a forum on disabled issues.
Politicker reports that Weiner was chased into the building, up and down stairs, through hallways and into the auditorium by press people, shouting questions and taking photos throughout the tumult.
Once the forum started, Weiner got beaten up by a member of the audience over his Congressional record:
After briefly discussing his plan for 2,000 wheelchair-accessible cabs and taxi stands in every zip code, Mr. Weiner, looking drained, was confronted by Philip Bennett, 57, a home care worker from Brooklyn.
“Mr. Weiner, when you were my congressman, you pledged your active co-sponsorship of a law to allow people with disabilities to live in their own homes rather than nursing homes,” said Mr. Bennett, referring to the Community Choice Act, which Mr. Weiner quickly indicated he recognized.
“One year later,” continued Mr. Bennett, “you withdrew your sponsorship. You claimed you had something better. You didn’t tell me what it was. And no one on your staff knew what it was, Mr. Weiner.”
And then came an oft-repeated question: “Frankly, I have to ask: How can I trust you?”
Mr. Weiner, who spent much of his time between answers siting with his feet crossed at the ankles, his hands in his pockets and slumped in his chair, said he wasn’t sure what had happened to the bill, and immediately changed the subject, touting his plans for a single-payer healthcare system for New York City, the money it would save, and denouncing recent hospital closures. His was the only campaign, he argued, talking about such bold reforms.
But the answer was entirely unsatisfying for Mr. Bennett, who said he suffers from an “invisible” emotional disability.
“He knew exactly what the Community Choice Act is,” he told Politicker bitterly after Mr. Weiner had left the stage. “We worked long and hard about it … And then told me that he had this pie-in-the-sky idea of some other legislation that was better than the Community Choice Act.”
“Never happened,” he said of the bill, which would guarantee people eligible for nursing homes the option of receiving nursing care at home instead. The bill remains stalled in Congress to this day.
Then the forum was over and Weiner ran the press gauntlet again, ignoring the questions yelled at him as he dashed for his campaign SUV.
Weiner used to enjoy his time on the campaign trail and the schtick he got to do at candidate forums, standing up and gesturing while he talked about issues.
Now he's spending most of his time avoiding the press and getting beaten up by voters.
I know the conventional wisdom is that Weiner is going to stay in this campaign no matter what because he has nothing to lose, but unless the vibe along the campaign trail changes, I don't see how Weiner can keep this up without spontaneously combusting.
With many press outlets picking up the story today that Weiner evaded a question from Daily News columnist Denis Hamill on whether he was sexting anyone at the current time and now the "slutbag" story involving his spokesperson, I suspect tomorrow isn't going to get any better for him on the campaign trail.
We'll just have to see if he wants to continue to play head clown in the three ring media circus for the next 40 days.