New York, NY (PIX11) – Just before the mayoral forum got underway last night for the AARP, Anthony Weiner patted fellow candidate George McDonald on the back as he made his way to his seat.
The Republican quickly remarked to Weiner, “Keep your hands to yourself.” He then walked over to Weiner and reiterated his point, “Don’t put your hands on me ever again,” he said.
Weiner acknowledged that he heard him and then mentioned something about McDonald’s anger, to which McDonald responded with, “I don’t have any anger.” Weiner retorted, “I think you do, Grandpa.”
“Ooh!” reacted McDonald, stepping away and pointing to the audience, added, “They will love that.”
As it turns out, the AARP audience gave Weiner a warm reception and was not cool with candidate jabs at him.
“I would contrast my values with Anthony Weiner’s values any day of the week! 7 days a week!” McDonald said from his seat on the panel. That prompted boos from the audience. “I have a right to express my opinion!” McDonald responded firmly.
Most candidates took the time to express their opinions on the actual issues. Bill Thompson spoke of affordable housing for seniors while John Liu pushed for small businesses.
But McDonald kept going back to one point. “What are our values as a city? Believe me, it is not nice to talk about. I didn’t have a nice conversation with my granddaughter about why one person is so much more famous than you Grandpa, what did he do? Why don’t you do what he did?”
As for that much more famous person, earlier in the day on Tuesday he appeared exclusively on the PIX 11 Morning Show with political reporter Marvin Scott, to talk about the issues affecting New Yorkers.
“Hospitals and healthcare is our second biggest employer in the city and we have to treat it that way,” Weiner said, adding, “So I will fight to keep the hospitals open and use it [healthcare] as economic development.”
The only candidate missing from the forum was Democratic frontrunner Christine Quinn, citing a scheduling conflict.
An AARP spokesperson called the “grandpa” comment, “unfortunate.”
Weiner’s campaign declined to comment.