Anthony Weiner's struggle to put his sexting scandals behind him ran up Wednesday night against a Rockaways resident angry that his former congressman was no longer in Washington to help when the neighborhoods were ravaged by superstorm Sandy.
Philip McManus, 48, asked Weiner -- to gasps from what was otherwise a friendly crowd in Rockaway Beach, Queens -- how voters can trust him to be mayor "when you can't be trusted in your own family."
Weiner retorted: "I dishonored my wife, but, sir, I didn't do anything to you."
McManus, of Rockaway Park, didn't see it that way. Interviewed afterward, McManus said Weiner did well securing funding for the community when he was its congressman, before the original sexting scandal that forced him to resign from the House in 2011.
"He helped us get more sand to protect us from Hurricane Irene," McManus said. "If he'd been our congressman still [after Sandy], who knows what would have happened?"
Weiner got a warmer reception from another resident, Patrick Clark. "I appreciate your keeping up the good fight," he said. "I'd like to have a mayor with a controversy rather than having a mayor that we're never gonna see again."
Earlier in the day, Weiner's campaign tried to get past another uproar after his spokeswoman's profane rant about a former intern. Weiner, whose campaign manager quit last weekend after news of Weiner's post-congressional sexting habits emerged, said he would keep Barbara Morgan in as communications director.
What set off Morgan on Tuesday was an unflattering article about the campaign and its staff written for the Daily News by Olivia Nuzzi, the former intern. Morgan raged about Nuzzi to a reporter from the online political news site Talking Points Memo, using several expletives specifically offensive to women.
One of Weiner's Democratic primary rivals, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, on Wednesday called Morgan's language "clearly very inappropriate." An Internet-based women's group, UltraViolet, said Morgan should be fired for "sexist name-calling." But the city's National Organization for Women chapter, which has been harshly critical of Weiner, had no comment.
Nuzzi accepted via Twitter an apology Morgan issued Tuesday night. Morgan followed up Wednesday with a tweeted mea culpa: "Not my best day yesterday. Should've known better, been better. Gotta pay up." Attached was a photo of a swear jar stuffed with $100 bills and a Visa card.
Meanwhile, Morgan confirmed Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, was taking time off from her position as a top aide to Hillary Clinton. Morgan would not discuss whether Abedin's plans included new efforts on behalf of the campaign.
With Emily Ngo