New York City Democratic mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, the ex-congressman who resigned amid a sexting scandal in 2011, said he would not be getting out of the race following revelations he had exchanged more inappropriate photos and texts as late as last summer.
In a 10-minute New York City press conference, Weiner read off a statement his campaign had released earlier in the day following a report and screen shots posted on the TheDirty.com of electronic exchanges with a woman in her twenties who claimed they occurred after his resignation.
"I have said that other texts and photos were likely to come out, and today they have," he said. "As I have said in the past, these things that I did were wrong and hurtful to my wife and caused us to go through challenges in our marriage that extended past my resignation from Congress."
In an extraordinary move, his wife Huma Abedin – a former top aide to Hillary Clinton – took to the microphone to deliver her own defense of Weiner's continued campaign.
"It took a lot of work and a whole lot of therapy to get to a place where I have forgiven Anthony," she said. "It was not an easy choice in any way, but I made the decision that it was worth staying in this marriage. That was a decision I made for me, for our son and for our family. I didn't know how it would work out. But I did know I wanted to give it a try."
Abedin, who acknowledged she was nervous, said her husband had made "horrible mistakes" before and after his 2011 resignation.
"But I do very strongly believe that is between us and our marriage," she said. "We discussed all of this before Anthony decided to run for mayor. So really what I want to say is, I love him, I have forgiven him, I believe in him, and as we have said in the beginning, we are moving forward."
Weiner took a couple questions from reporters who crowded into the impromptu press conference, but declined to offer a clear timeline of his indiscretion.
"You have as a fixed time the resignation as the important moment in the discussion," he said. "That was when the public got a glimpse of something we had been working on before, during and since. And this behavior of mine was part of that."
He said the last inappropriate exchange happened "sometime last summer, I think."
Weiner is polling among the top two candidates in the multi-person field – his toughest competition for the nomination is Christine Quinn, current speaker of the New York City Council. If no candidate earns more than 40 percent of the vote in the Sept. 10 primary, the top two candidates will duel it out in a run-off election.
Democratic political observers in New York say though the texts are from last year and Weiner admitted early in his campaign that more women could come forward, the revelations are still damaging to his campaign.
"No one wants to see their mayor's penis; it's kind of insane," says one Democratic source who has worked in New York politics.
Voters, the source adds, will question Weiner's sincerity at every turn considering the nature with which the sexting saga has unfolded.