After NYC Mayoral Debate, Reporters Ask Weiner About Hillary Clinton

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In case you needed further evidence that the most newsworthy headlines the Weiner campaign can generate at this point are about Hillary Clinton's possible presidential run, a bunch of reporters asked the mayoral candidate about Clinton just after he finished a televised debate for the election he's actually in. Those questions were a follow-up to Weiner's comments last night when Buzzfeed's Ben Smith asked Weiner if he knew what role his wife Huma Abedin would play in the 2016 campaign of the former Secretary of State. Weiner replied “I do," adding, "I’m not telling you.” That seemed to break a big rule of talking about the Clinton campaign: it's not even officially happening yet.

Via Capital New York, here's the exchange:

Reporter: Do you know if she's running or not?

Weiner: I have no insights into 2016. I'm struggling right here with 2013.

Reporter: But it seems you keep stepping in it with the Clintons.

Weiner: Put that in the form of a question. We're at 'Jeopardy.' We're on the set of 'Jeopardy.' Put that in the form of a question.

Reporter: Do you regret what you've done for the Clinton campaign? For Hillary Clinton?

Weiner: Look, I, I, you can report on whatever you want about this debate. You can and if you want to make it about the Clinton campaign, I was asked a question about the plan of my wife and I made a light-hearted answer that everyone in the room laughed at, apparently except you. For that, I apologize. I'll try to make the jokes more obvious.

Reporter: But the Clinton campaign wasn't laughing at it either.

Weiner: Do you have a question [inaudible]? Is there a question. 

Earlier on Tuesday, the Clinton camp gave some terse remarks in response to what was apparently a joke from Weiner about his wife's role in the (possible!) Clinton campaign: “We have absolutely no clue what he was talking about.” According to Politico, Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill added, “Maybe his campaign does. Doubt it though.” Weiner's comments landed during last night's Buzzfeed Brews interview, which generated a listicle worth of articles for the publication (Weiner, for instance, dropped an F-bomb and insinuated that Buzzfeed is full of cat pictures). The candidate, after a stint as the frontrunner, is now in fourth place in the mayoral race. Abedin, meanwhile, is on extended vacation from her job with Clinton's transition office, presumably to support her husband's campaign. 

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The actual mayoral debate on Tuesday, now with Bill de Blasio as a frontrunner in the race, did not focus on Weiner's current sex scandal, which seems to be more a symptom of his diminishing support rather than a boon for the candidate. When prompted, the other candidates even refrained from taking the bait and using a question on whether Weiner should step out to attack the candidate further: Bill Thompson, for instance, said “This campaign should be about the future of the city of New York. I don’t want to talk about Anthony, and that’s not why I’m here tonight.” City Comptroller John Liu added, “Please don’t ask me any more questions about him.” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, meanwhile, took a few jabs at Weiner's legislative record, prompting the former congressman to go on the offensive against Quinn's role in getting Bloomberg a third mayoral term: "I've owned up to my personal failings," Weiner said, "but I have a record that I'm proud of...and that's not something the speaker can claim."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.