House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and two other leaders of the Democratic Party on Saturday called on Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) to resign, shattering any semblance of party support for the embattled congressman.
“Congressman Weiner has the love of his family, the confidence of his constituents, and the recognition that he needs help. I urge Congressman Weiner to seek that help without the pressures of being a Member of Congress,” Pelosi said in a statement Saturday.
Her call was issued nearly simultaneously with pleas for Weiner to quit from Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Shultz (D-Fla.), the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the Democratic Conngressional Campaign Committee.
“It is with great disappointment that I call on Representative Anthony Weiner to resign,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.), the newly installed DNC chief, said in a statement. “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.”
The call from Wasserman-Schultz escalates the pressure on him to quit following his admission that he sent lewd messages and photos to women via Facebook and Twitter. Weiner has said he will not resign. The House returns from a recess on Monday.
Two Democratic officials said the coordinated effort was in the works before news of the Delaware investigation broke. Democratic leaders had hoped Weiner would resign on his own, but he refused.
A senior Democratic aide said party leaders have been talking with him throughout the week, and that the coordinated effort to push him out began when he decided to seek treatment. The aide said Weiner was informed that the leaders would be issuing a public call for his resignation.
The aide said the statements came on Saturday to get ahead of the Sunday shows and the return of lawmakers on Monday.
Previous DNC chairs Tim Kaine, now a Senate candidate in Virginia, and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell have also called for Weiner to resign.
The Hill has requested a response from Weiner’s spokesmen.