New York – A new war on smokers was launched on Thursday. Not by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, but by the man who wants to replace him, Anthony Weiner.
He’s running for mayor and has a lot of new ideas, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported.
Weiner is not telling smokers to quit – not yet at least. But if he is elected mayor he would make city workers who smoke pay more for health insurance. He thinks it’s only fair.
“I think it’s perfectly reasonable to say to people that make a decision that add the cost to the rest of us that they should bare that cost,” Weiner said. “I think it’s reasonable to say that if someone’s going to smoke and drive up everyone’s costs they should bear those costs.”
Weiner, whose mother was a public school teacher, also wants to do something to provide city dollars to help Catholic schools survive.
“We’ve lost 63 parish schools in the past five years. We’re due to lose another 20 at the end of the year. That is a real problem for New York City,” Weiner said.
Weiner said there is a lot the city can do to help.
“There’s all kinds of secular services we can provide to non-public schools, things like book money and computersand help with security and these different types of things,” Weiner said.
On the campaign trail in Harlem on Thursday, Weiner was very straightforward in addressing his past indiscretions and the question of whether voters can overlook them.
“I, frankly, have been encouraged by how many people say they are prepared to give me a second chance and just listen to my ideas, and, look, there may be people who say they’re not and I respect that and people have a right to have that view. But even for those people, I want them to hear what I have to say,” Weiner said.
He also said his wife, former Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, will have a role to play in his campaign.
“She’s on the campaign with both boots,” Weiner said
And there is a sign that the old feisty, pre-scandal Weiner is back. When asked if he would ride the subway like Mayor Bloomberg, Weiner said he would “actually” ride it, a dig at the billionaire mayor if ever there was one.
Read more at CBS 2.