UYGUR: Calls grow for Anthony Weiner to resign. He says today that he has no plans to back down. Now, why is he alone? Where is his backup? Where are the Democrats? Well, I`m going to challenge them to fight for Weiner when we come back.
UYGUR: Anthony Weiner is insisting today that he will not resign despite growing pressure from his so-called friends in the Democratic Party. Congressman Weiner told a New York reporter, quote, “I betrayed a lot of people and I know it, and I`m trying to get back to work now and try to make amends to my constituents, and of course, to my family.”
He also said flat-out that he will not resign, but at least nine Democrats in congress are calling on him, of course, to step down. In fact, it seems some Democrats are going out of their way to denounce him.
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REP. ALLYSON SCHWARTZ, (D) PENNSYLVANIA: It`s only just a huge disappointment. I really, you know, it`s hard. It`s hard on all of us to see this happen to Anthony, something he brought on himself. And, again, I find it appalling and inappropriate behavior. It`s inexcusable.
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UYGUR: Look, I know what some say. Weiner`s actions are difficult to defend, and that we should just force him out and move on. It`s a distraction. This is not the right fight. But for Democrats, doesn`t it always seem like it`s never the right time to fight? Couldn`t we fight once at some point? For me, I`d like to fight right now. So, without further ado, Cenk`s rules on fight club. Here`s how you deal with the tough situation like Weiner.
First of all, revolutionary idea. You defend your own, OK? That`s what the Republicans do all the time. If Democrats, and tack on any given issue on any given candidate, we know what the Republicans do, they circle the wagons and they fight back. The Democrats, what do they do? They circle the wagons and kick the guy out. Well, that`s not going to help you keep that guy in power or have a situation where, you know what, there`s some degree of unity and there`s some belief that you`ll stick together.
The second thing you can do is you can attack. So, for example, when Vitter and Ensign, et cetera, had their troubles, especially Vitter, how long did the Democrats talk about it? For about a week, and then they let it go. I mean, you`ve got Tim Kaine who used to run the DNC attacking Weiner right now. Where were you when you were the head of the DNC? Why didn`t you go ballistic attacking Republicans?
Marshmallow Tim Kaine doesn`t know how to do it. Finally, here`s another idea. Counterattack. So, when they say, oh, Weiner`s bad. Here`s what you do, you say how about Vitter, OK? Now, Vitter was worse. He broke laws. He was with a hooker. And, you know, you guys gave him a standing ovation. He is worse. So, let`s practice. They say Weiner, you say Vitter. Say it with me. They say Weiner, you say Vitter. OK?
You`ve got to teach these guys. They never fight back. It isn`t about Weiner. OK. You know, what he did is wrong. Everybody gets it on a personal level, et cetera, but at some point, you`ve got to fight back. All right. I am clear on it. Let`s have a conversation now.
Josh green, senior political editor for “The Atlantic.” He wrote today, Anthony Weiner should resign. OK. Now, Josh, of course, is not with the Democratic Party, so what I said does not apply to him. He`s writing his opinion as an analyst. So, Josh, let`s have a conversation about that.
JOSH GREEN, THE ATLANTIC: All right.
UYGUR: First about the Democrats, OK? Doesn`t it set — send a message that whenever the Republicans have a problem, the Democrats attack a little bit and then they say, OK, just let it go, and Whenever the Democrats have a problem, the Democrats throw themselves under a bus?
GREEN: I think the problem here is that if Democrats want to fight, they ought to fight about policy. They ought to fight about Medicare. They ought to fight about deficit spending. They ought to fight for some stimulus, for one thing, but it doesn`t make sense to fight over a guy like this who destroyed his own career, who`s embarrassed his party, and who is sticking around despite everyone`s desire that he leave, including the people in his own party.
UYGUR: Well, look, there are a couple of things there. First of all, they always tell me about how they are going to keep their powder dry. I mean, for eight years with Bush, I heard about, oh, no, no, we`ve got to keep the powder dry. Wait till you see the fight later. And I never saw it. I never saw it.
Whether it`s on issues, I agree with you. I wish they`d fight ten times harder on issues. OK. And that`s much more important, but on the substance of Weiner here, you know, I also just flat-out disagree. So, you tell me, Josh, what`s the big crime? I mean, I get it`s embarrassing. Oh, my God —
GREEN: First of all, I don`t even need to look at it as a partisan issue. The guy has embarrassed himself. He`s embarrassed the U.S. Congress. You know, people, especially congressmen but also Democratic and Republican parties tend to think of a seat in Congress as an entitlement. It`s not an entitlement. It`s an honor. You`re a public servant. You know, you`re there to do work, to pass laws.
You know, Weiner isn`t a guy who`s going to be capable of doing that any more. I mean, he`s looked at — he`s a punch line. He dominated the news for two weeks. Step down and get somebody else in that seat. And for partisans, they don`t have to worry the Republicans are going to win that seat. It`s a heavily Democratic district.
UYGUR: All right. Josh, just couple of things. All right. First of all, you talk about honor. Which of these guys have honor? I mean, come on, really. I mean, I`ve been covering politics a long time. You think the rest of them are honorable?
GREEN: Yes, I actually do.
UYGUR: Come on!
GREEN: I think a lot of congressmen, the majority of congressmen come to work, and you, as a liberal, of all people, should not be laughing at government. And you know, people like Anthony Weiner undermine Americans` faith in government. If liberals were smart, they would get him out of there. They would get somebody in there who`s going to do what liberals want which is protect Medicare, get some stimulus passed, and keep the focus on Republicans, not on Twitter.
UYGUR: Here`s what I`m embarrassed by, that a great majority of our congressmen and our senators are bought by corporations, OK? They take money in campaign contributions, and then, they do whatever the hell the corporations tell them to do. You know, I`m eternally embarrassed by Evan Bayh. When he was office, he`s on the centrist with (ph) corporations. What do you need me to do, what do you need me to sell out on?
And then, immediately, he steps out of office and become as a lobbyist for chamber of commerce and works for Fox News Channel. I couldn`t be more embarrassed over Evan Bayh and all the so-called centrist Democrats, OK? I`m not embarrassed that Anthony Weiner was horny. I don`t care. You know who else is like that? Everybody else in Congress. They didn`t get caught. Who care?
GREEN: Yes, but the rest of them — most of the rest of them can control themselves, and they can pass laws, and they can talk about serious issues of public policy, and they`re not out there, you know, dominating the headlines and stepping on the political debate with their own indiscretions and silly behavior. So, I don`t see any reason why Weiner should stick around. I also don`t see any way that they will get him out of there, but I think he ought to step down for Congress.
UYGUR: Josh, one last thing. Again, on the substance of this, you know, you keep saying like he can`t continue to legislate, et cetera. Why not? I mean, how does this affect his views on the 9/11 responder bill, which he was heroic in fighting for their health care. So, now that you know he was sending dirty pictures while he was doing that, do you think, oh, it doesn`t count? That was no good. The victory there just doesn`t count —
GREEN: I think he`s ultimately been harmful for the Democrats, because he`s undermined — further undermined people`s faith in government and people`s faith in the Democratic Party. And Democrats would be better off replacing him with someone a little more honorable who would go in and fight for —
UYGUR: Honorable. I wish you could find an honorable politician for me. I`d love to get behind that guy.
GREEN: I can introduce you to plenty of them.
GREEN: And liberals shouldn`t be a cynical as you are about government. Really, yes.
UYGUR: You know, Josh, name three for me.
GREEN: Henry Waxman. You know, it`s the 30th anniversary of AIDS. You know, Waxman was one of the first people who, you know, pushed Congressional, federal research funding through it. You know, Ed Markey, if you want to take another northeasterner. You know, all sorts of people, I think, in a New York delegation. I think, Chuck Schumer. Here`s a guy who —
UYGUR: Chuck Schumer? Chuck Schumer?
GREEN: He is like Anthony Weiner —
UYGUR: Chuck Schumer?
GREEN: He can push for these things. He`s an effective public advocate. And at least, so far as we know, he`s not making a fool of himself on Twitter.
UYGUR: OK. Chuck Schumer takes an enormous amount of money from Wall Street. Now, he — look, he`s the senator from New York, I get it —
UYGUR: OK. And does he represent Wall Street well? Oh, you bet he does, OK? I`ll take Anthony Weiner over Chuck Schumer any day. I don`t care what pictures they`re sending out. All right. But we are clear. Josh, I really appreciate you coming on talking about this. It was definitely an interesting conversation. Everybody, Josh Green, senior political editor for “The Atlantic.” Thank you, Josh.
GREEN: Good to be with you.