While leaders of both parties have called on Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) to resign following his Twitter sex scandal, leading Republicans have claimed Democrats are being too soft on the embattled congressman. This is a cynical attack, considering that, instead of calling on Sens. David Vitter (R-LA) and John Ensign (R-NV) to resign following their sex scandals, Republicans offered them support.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has been particularly vocal attacking Democrats for not being hard enough of Weiner, specifically targeting Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Today, the two party chairs faced off on NBC’s Meet the Press, where Wasserman Schultz called for Weiner to resign and called out Priebus’ hypocrisy on congressional sex scandals. Priebus again refused to discuss the GOP scandals, claiming they are old news and thus irrelevant — even though Vitter serves in the Senate to this day. He quickly pivoted to saying we should be talking about the economy instead of personal issues, but that hasn’t stopped him from harping on Weiner:
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: What Reince is saying doesn’t pass the straight face test from the chair of a party, none of whose leaders called for Senator Vitter, who actually broke the law, to resign. Who is still serving in office. … Hired prostitutes, and evaded the truth.
Chairman Priebus was chairman when Senator Ensign was also embroiled in unethical, unacceptable, and probably illegal conduct, and he did not call on Senator Ensign to resign. … So it’s a double standard. You only cal for Democrats’ resignations, not Republicans.
According to former RNC Chairman Michael Steele, Vitter and Ensign’s indiscretions were “a degree or two more egregious” than Weiner’s conduct. Vitter broke the law by hiring prostitutes while Ensign violated Senate ethics rules (and possibly U.S. law) when he bribed the husband of his mistress.