Struggling New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner got into a heated confrontation with a Jewish voter in a Brooklyn deli Wednesday, and yes, it was all caught on tape. Since then, both men involved have offered pseudo-apologies for their actions.
After the blow-up, Weiner simply brushed it off as “just some enthusiastic exchange with a voter.”
“Look, you’re allowed to say stuff to me,” the controversial pol said. “But if you’re going to say vile things about me and my family, you should expect that I’m going to go back at you.”
“Hecklers don’t get a chance to necessarily get the last word if they cross the line,” he reasoned.
Meanwhile, Saul Kessler, a 51-year-old Jewish real estate manager, told CNN that he should have acted differently.
Many left-leaning blogs and publications pointed out that in the longer video of the confrontation (released by Anthony Weiner’s campaign), Kessler can be heard disparaging the candidate for being “married to an Arab.” This was cited as an example of bigotry, and the likely reason that Weiner snapped.
Kessler admits he shouldn’t have said it.
“It’s just a certain feeling I have as a Jew,” Kessler said. “And my attitude is that — not all Arabs — but, in general,… they want to kill every Jew.”
Furthermore, a Jewish person marrying an Arab is “like a betrayal.”
Though Kessler won’t be voting for Weiner, he admits that the confrontation shouldn’t have happened the way it did.
“(Given that I felt) a little bit of anger, I probably shouldn’t have said it,” Kessler specifically said about the “Arab” comment. “I shouldn’t have called him a scumbag. But it was in the heat of the moment.”
According to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday, Anthony Weiner trails three other Democratic candidates ahead of next week’s primary.