WASHINGTON -- Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) didn't just have harsh words to say on Sunday about Anthony Weiner's latest sex scandal -- he offered up a medical assessment of the former congressman, saying that Weiner was pathological and not "psychologically qualified" to be mayor of New York.
"It's a terrible aberration. We have a city in New York, the greatest city in the world," King said on CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley. "Over the last 30-something years ... Ed Koch was mayor for 12 years, Rudy Giuliani for eight, Mike Bloomberg for 12 -- outstanding giants of men who really did so much to bring New York City back."
"And to have Anthony Weiner … This is a real pathological problem with him," King continued, adding he had nothing personal against the candidate. "How could he be out there knowing all this information was going to come out? I just think it was sort of a perverse celebrity factor for a while to have his numbers up there. I just can't see any way, even if this latest scandal would not have come out, that Anthony Weiner could have won."
"After this, I think he should do himself and everybody a favor and step to the sidelines," King added. "He is not psychologically qualified to be mayor of the city of New York."
Controversy erupted during Weiner's comeback campaign last week, when gossip site The Dirty posted sexually explicit messages and photographs that Weiner allegedly sent to a young woman under the alias "Carlos Danger." The mayoral candidate acknowledged the conduct took place after his 2011 resignation from Congress over a similar scandal.
In a press conference Tuesday, with wife, Huma Abedin, by his side, Weiner refused to exit the race.
"Some of these things happened before my resignation, some of them happened after, but the fact is that that was also the time that my wife and I were working through some things in our marriage," Weiner said. "I'm glad these things are behind us. I know that this was a very public thing that we had happen to us. But by no means does it change the fundamentals of my feelings here, and that is that I want to bring my vision to the people of the city of New York. I hope they're willing to still continue to give me a second chance."
Abedin also made rare public comments in which she defended her husband and said the matter was between them.
"I love him, I have forgiven him, I believe in him and, as we have said since the beginning, we are moving forward," she said.
Weiner has nonetheless received growing calls to withdraw his candidacy for mayor, including a scathing op-ed by the New York Times Editorial Board. His poll numbers also plummeted after the new revelations, with just 30 percent of New York Democrats saying they viewed him favorably and 55 percent holding an unfavorable impression.
To make matters worse, Weiner's campaign manager, Danny Kedem, quit Saturday amid the brewing controversy.
David Axelrod, former senior advisor to President Barack Obama, chimed in on the subject during a roundtable on NBC's "Meet the Press," saying it was "absurd" for Weiner to stay in the race.
"It's time for him to go away," Axelrod said. "He is wasting time and space. Americans believe in second chances, but not third chances."
This story has been updated to include comments from David Axelrod on NBC's "Meet the Press."
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