NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner made waves Tuesday, when he called a Republican rival “grandpa” during a confrontation at a forum sponsored by the AARP.
Longshot Republican candidate George McDonald frequently mocks Weiner’s sexting scandal. Tensions between them erupted again before the forum at Hunter College on Tuesday, when Weiner touched his 69-year-old opponent’s chest in greeting.
“Don’t put your hands on me ever again,” McDonald said in an angry tone.
“What’s going to happen if I do? You’re a tough guy now?” said Weiner, 48. “You have anger issues.”
“I don’t have any anger issues,” replied McDonald.
“Yes, you do, Grandpa,” Weiner said.
“Ooh, OK,” McDonald said. “They’re going to love that.”
The angry exchange was caught on camera by the New York 1 cable news channel.
AARP spokesman David Irwin was quoted in the New York Daily News as calling Weiner’s comment, “unfortunate,” and saying age should never be a factor in a political run.
McDonald founded an organization that helps the homeless find work. At the forum he was booed by the crowd when he taunted Weiner as a “glib narcissist.”
Previously at a Queens forum, McDonald called Weiner a “self-pleasuring freak,” according to a Daily News report.
There were 10 candidates participating in the debate in all, and one candidate who was not invited also generated waves at the forum, the newspaper reported.
Green Party candidate Tony Gronowicz came to the forum uninvited and was hauled away by police after refusing to leave, protesting that he was a bona fide candidate and will be on the ballot, the paper reported.
Weiner has been embroiled in controversy in recent weeks.
The disclosure of additional sexting chats after he resigned from Congress sent Weiner’s poll numbers plummeting, prompted numerous calls for him to quit, and ultimately led to the resignation of his campaign manager.
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