NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — An AARP official says a heated exchange at a forum the organization sponsored between Anthony Weiner and fellow mayoral candidate George McDonald was “unfortunate.”
The exchange between 69-year-old McDonald and 48-year-old Weiner was all caught on camera during the event at Hunter College.
Weiner touched McDonald’s chest in greeting.
“Don’t put your hands on me ever again,” McDonald barked.
“What’s going to happen if I do? You’re a tough guy now?” said Weiner. “You have anger issues.”
“I don’t have any anger issues,” replied McDonald.
“Yes, you do, Grandpa,” Weiner said.
AARP state director Beth Finkel said Wednesday that a person’s age “should not be a factor in politics, or anything else.”
“AARP found some of yesterday’s comments regarding age unfortunate, especially at a time when according to a new AARP survey, nearly one quarter of New York’s (age) 50+ voters say they or a family member have experience unwelcome comments about their age and nearly half are concerned about discrimination,” Finkel said in a statement.
On Wednesday, McDonald attacked Weiner for running, saying his sexting scandal has brought the New York City mayoral race to a new low.
“It’s what Sen. Moynihan used to call ‘defining deviancy down.’ We’ve reached a new bottom. He’s infamous, but not for doing good and that’s the problem,” McDonald said.
Weiner responded, saying to CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer, “Look, I stand by the things I said. Is it a surprise to anyone that my opponents are attacking me? No. You’re treating it as if it’s newsworthy but that doesn’t mean I have to.”
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.
McDonald and Weiner are both struggling in their primaries and 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. It also prompted numerous calls for him to quit, which ultimately led to the resignation of his campaign manager.
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