By Ashley Killough
(CNN) — New York City mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner sought to downplay an altercation he had Tuesday with a campaign rival that ended with the former congressman taking a swipe at his opponent’s age.
In a sharp exchange with Republican George McDonald at a town hall forum hosted by AARP, Weiner called the founder of the nonprofit Doe Fund “grandpa.”
“I don’t know him very well,” Weiner said on WWRL, a radio station in New York. “He’s a bit of a fringe candidate on the campaign trail. But he talks about his granddaughter in every answer to questions on the campaign trail, so I was making a reference to that.”
The argument, which started when Weiner greeted McDonald by patting him on the chest, was caught on camera by CNN affiliate NY1.
“Don’t put your hands on me ever again,” McDonald said.
“What’s going to happen if I do? Tough guy now?” Weiner replied.
“Yeah. Yeah I am,” McDonald said, as he stepped closer to Weiner.
Weiner then made a swipe about McDonald having anger issues.
“I don’t have any anger issues,” the Republican said.
“But you do, grandpa,” Weiner said.
McDonald has been no fan of Weiner; his Twitter page is lit up with negative articles about Weiner and has been highly critical of the Democrat on the campaign trail. Last week, he reportedly referred to Weiner as a “self-pleasuring freak” at a campaign event in Queens.
Weiner, seemingly unfazed by Tuesday’s exchange, said Wednesday the AARP event “was a great debate on senior issues, where Mr. McDonald was roundly booed and I was roundly cheered.”
“So it was very nice to be there,” he said.
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