Obama on Anthony Weiner: “I would resign”


DURHAM, NC - JUNE 13: U.S. President Barack Obama waves after speaking at Cree, Inc. after meeting with the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness Council at the corporate and manufacturing headquarters of Cree on June 13, 2011 in Durham, North Carolina. The President toured the facility and spoke on initiatives and policies to spur economic growth, promote job creation and accelerate hiring across the nation. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images) (Sara D. Davis/GETTY IMAGES)

“I think he’s embarrassed himself, he’s acknowledged that, he’s embarrassed his wife and his family,” Obama said in an interview with Curry in North Carolina.. “Ultimately there’s going to be a decision for him and his constituents. I can tell you that if it was me, I would resign.”

Obama’s statement comes just hours after White House press secretary Jay Carney said that what Weiner had done was “inappropriate” but stopped short of calling for his resignation.

At the time, Carney said that “the president is focused on his job, which is getting this economy continuing to grow, creating jobs and ensuring the safety and security of the American people.”

While Obama’s statement is not a straight-up call for resignation, the signal sent by his statement is unmistakable. It comes after a weekend in which top Democratic leaders including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) called on Weiner to step aside following his admission that he engaged in a series of online liaisons — relationships that have produced a trove of lewd pictures.

Weiner has, so far, resisted calls for him to step aside; he entered treatment (of an unspecified nature) on Saturday and requested a leave of absence from the House.

Democrats have expressed a combination of outrage and disappointment in Weiner’s refusal to quit Congress. Republicans, meanwhile, have largely stayed silent — preferring to let their adversaries puzzle out next steps with Weiner.

Chris Cillizza writes “The Fix,” a politics blog for the Washington Post. He also covers the White House.

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