Anthony Weiner Proclaims Himself a Pro-Women Candidate

Anthony speaks at the 2011 Planned Parenthood Stand Up For Women Health Rally.
Anthony Weiner speaks at the 2011 Planned Parenthood Stand Up For Women Health Rally.  (Screenshot)

Former Congressman Anthony Weiner, who has come under repeated fire from women’s groups and feminist leaders for his online sexting habits, is touting his credentials fighting for women’s rights.

In a fund-raising email today to supporters titled “Continuing the Fight for Women’s Equality,” Mr. Weiner, whose mayoral campaign is sputtering in the polls, marked Women’s Equality Day by touting his record advocating for women.

“When women have equal rights, our society is better off. This is one of my long-held beliefs and it’s why I have been such a staunch supporter of women’s rights my entire career,” wrote Mr. Weiner in the email, which links to a video of a fiery speech he  gave at the 2011 Planned Parenthood Stand Up For Women’s Health Rally.

In the clip, a much younger-looking Mr. Weiner tells the enthusiastic crowd, “Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Anthony Weiner and I stand for women! I’ll let someone else write the headline about a guy named Weiner standing for women, but that’s someone else’s job.”

The email comes shortly after Mr. Weiner’s scheduled press conference today in Lower Manhattan, where he touted his maternity and paternity leave plan, which would guarantee three months of fully paid maternity leave and six weeks of fully paid paternity leave to the city’s nearly 300,000 municipal workers “to ensure our city’s newborns get the care they need in those crucial first months.”

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio both recently rolled out their own parental leave plans; but Mr. Weiner insists his is better.

“de Blasio and Quinn Follow Weiner With Proposals on Family Leave; Now Let’s Compare,” touted his campaign in a press release, which slammed his opponents’ ideas as “far less ambitious and less helpful to expectant parents” and their plans to finance them as “unrealistic and fiscally irresponsible.”

Mr. de Blasio’s plan would covers all New York City residents, not just city workers; while Ms. Quinn’s would cover all New Yorkers earning under $100,000 a year. Both plans, however, would provide smaller benefits: two thirds base salary for Ms. Quinn; one half for Mr. de Blasio.

Mr. de Blasio’s campaign declined to comment. But Ms. Quinn’s spokesman fired back.

“The key difference between Christine Quinn and Anthony Weiner, on almost every measure, is that she actually gets things done and has a record of delivering for middle class New Yorkers,” spokesman Mike Morey said via email.

The National Organization for Women and other women’s groups have called on Mr. Weiner to drop out of the mayors race, with the group’s president, Sonia Ossorio, repeatedly slamming his candidacy as a distraction and calling him “unfit for public office.”

Anthony Weiner Proclaims Himself a Pro-Women Candidate