Rangel: Weiner won’t have a ‘serious impact’ on mayor’s race
Rep. Charlie Rangel, the dean of New York's congressional delegation and a former colleague of Anthony Weiner, downplayed Weiner's potential impact on the mayor's race, in an appearance on MSNBC today.
Asked if he would endorse in the race, Rangel said, "Only to the extent that only in America can we do these types of things. Sanford did it in Carolina and there goes Anthony Weiner.
"I think he would not be able to live with himself, if he didn't run," Rangel continued. "But I don't think he's going to have a serious impact on the outcome of the mayor's race."
Rangel's analysis strays a bit from the conventional wisdom on the impact of Weiner's candidacy, which is that it will at the very least guarantee that Christine Quinn doesn't win the 40 percent necessary to avoid a run-off.
It was not a stretch, by contrast, for Rangel to predict that Weiner won't win.
"No, I don't think so," he said.
Weiner was in Rangel's Harlem district this morning for his first campaign stop as a declared candidate.
Rangel, who was censured by his House colleagues in 2010 for ethics violations, was one of Weiner's few defenders during the scandal that eventually led to Weiner's resignation in 2011.
"Not one person has given any reason for a resignation," Rangel said at the time. "The whole idea of resignation is something that's hyped up by the press more than his ability to serve."
"I know one thing, he wasn't going with prostitutes," Rangel added then. "He wasn't going out with little boys. He wasn't going into men's rooms with broad stances."
The other mayoral candidates have courted Rangel's support, with the majority appearing as co-hosts of his big birthday party last year, when Rangel was fending off a primary challenge from State Sen. Adriano Espaillat.
Rangel hasn't yet made an endorsement in the race.