NEW YORK - At least one Staten Island resident doesn't agree with Anthony Weiner's assertion his mayoral bid is representative of the middle class in spite of the new sexting revelations.
Weiner was confronted by the voter right after telling reporters he would likely soon stop answering questions about his previous online relationships.
Identifying herself as a Democrat and retired New York City Department of Education employee, Peg Brunda told Weiner she spent 21 years as a teacher and then nine as an assistant principal. As a city employee, "had I conducted myself in the manner in which you conducted yours, my job would have been gone," Brunda said.
Brunda continued, "I don't quite understand how you would feel you have the moral authority as the head administrator in the city to oversee employees when your standard of conduct is so much lower than the standard of conduct that's expected of us."
For his part, Weiner asked Brunda whether she would be voting for him, to which she answered with a definitive no.
Weiner did not respond directly to Brunda's assertions. "I want to let your neighbors make the decision for themselves based on all of the information that they have," he told her.
Brunda in turn told Weiner that while he is trying to get the middle class vote, the middle class "cannot conduct themselves in this manner," she said.
Polls that had put Weiner close to or even leading Democratic front-runner Christine Quinn, the City Council speaker, have not been kind since it was revealed this week that he continued sending lewd messages and photos to women he met online even after his 2011 resignation from Congress.
The latest NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist survey shows Weiner down 9% points from the 25%-20% lead he had over Quinn in late June. Quinn now leads Weiner 25%-16%.
To Brunda, Weiner defended his refusal to bow out of the mayor's race, saying that politicians frequently encounter individuals who don't like them or something in their background. "That's the way the process works. But that does not mean I stop running because I run into a person who respectfully asked me a question and they disagree with me," he said.
"I don't stop running. I keep plowing ahead. Because the things I care about, I care about these communities."