Three top Democratic leaders all sounded calls on Saturday for embattled Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., to resign - the clearest sign yet that support from his party has completely evaporated after the married congressman admitted Monday he had sent lewd photographs through social media to several women.
Within minutes of each other, Democratic National Committee Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel sent statements all calling for Weiner to step down. While several of Weiner's other Democratic colleagues had slowly suggested Weiner should resign, the orchestrated blitz from the party's top officials is the loudest public message yet a week of private entreaties was unsuccessful.
"It is with great disappointment that I call on Representative Anthony Weiner to resign," said Wasserman Schultz. "The behavior he has exhibited is indefensible and Representative Weiner's continued service in Congress is untenable. This sordid affair has become an unacceptable distraction for Representative Weiner, his family, his constituents and the House - and for the good of all, he should step aside and address those things that should be most important - his and his family's well-being."
Israel, a fellow New York congressman and head of the Democrats' efforts to regain the House, also called for Weiner to step down. Earlier this week, the DCCC's recruitment chairman, Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pa., also said publicly Weiner should resign.
"Anthony's inappropriate behavior has become an insurmountable distraction to the House and our work for the American people. With a heavy heart, I call on Anthony to resign," said Israel. "I pray for his family and hope that Anthony will take time to get the help he needs without the distractions and added pressures of Washington, DC."
Pelosi had declined to call for Weiner to resign all this week, saying his constituents should decide his fate, although the Democratic House Leader did ask the House ethics panel to officially investigate Weiner's sending of explicit messages.
"Congressman Weiner has the love of his family, the confidence of his constituents, and the recognition that he needs help," said Pelosi. "I urge Congressman Weiner to seek that help without the pressures of being a Member of Congress."