Obama stays silent on Dems mired in scandals

When President Barack Obama ran for re-election last year, he and his advisers were quick to condemn comments from Republicans that were deemed offensive or demeaning to women.

But now, with two prominent members of Obama’s Democratic Party admitting to lewd online behavior and facing allegations of sexual harassment, the White House is conspicuously silent.

Republicans say that smacks of hypocrisy. But White House officials draw a distinction, saying Obama’s comments last year were in response to the policy implications of the controversial views espoused by the two Republicans who were, at the time, running for Senate.

White House spokesman Jay Carney fended off questions Wednesday about both San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, who is facing numerous sexual harassment allegations, and Democrat Anthony Weiner, the former congressman currently running for New York City Mayor. Weiner resigned from Congress in 2011 after admitting he sent racy pictures and messages over the Internet to women he did not know. Earlier this month, he acknowledged that he had engaged in similar behavior even after resigning.

Republican officials say the president’s team is being hypocritical given how quickly Democrats jumped on controversial comments about rape made by GOP candidates last year.

“Interesting how we’re hearing crickets from the Democrats when it comes time to condemn activity from some of their own,” said Kirsten Kukowski, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee.

Indeed, Obama and his campaign advisers quickly denounced Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin’s assertion last year that women’s bodies have ways to prevent pregnancy “if it’s a legitimate rape.” Obama’s campaign was also highly critical of Richard Mourdock, who ran for the Senate from Indiana and said if a pregnancy results from rape, it is “something God intended to happen.”

While the controversies surrounding Akin and Murdock focused on words, the spectacles involving Weiner and Filner center on actions.

Weiner, who is married, has vowed to stay in the New York mayor’s race despite new revelations about sexually explicit messages he sent to several women. Filner, the mayor of the nation’s eighth-largest city, says he will enter two weeks of “intensive” therapy as he battles a sexual harassment lawsuit from his former communications director, as well as detailed accounts by seven other women of alleged advances.

While the White House has stayed silent about both Democrats, other party leaders have not. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi rebuked Weiner and Filner for “reprehensible” behavior and said both men should “get a clue.”