Mark Foley urges U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner to consider resigning from Congress
By Dara Kam
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Updated: 6:06 a.m. Friday, June 10, 2011
Posted: 10:27 p.m. Thursday, June 9, 2011
In his first nationally televised interview since resigning from Congress in disgrace nearly five years ago, Mark Foley advised U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner that he should consider doing the same.
"In my heart, you cannot fix this from inside that building," Foley, a Palm Beach County Republican, told Fox News television host Sean Hannity Thursday night.
Demands for Weiner's resignation, including from fellow Democrats, have ramped up since the New York Democrat confessed Monday that he had sent lewd messages and photographs to six women over the past three years.
But Weiner, who gained prominence locally as the keynote speaker for Palm Beach County Democrats' annual fund-raising dinner last fall, has refused to step down.
Foley was forced to resign from the U.S. House of Representatives in September 2006 over sexually charged text messages he sent to teenage males who had worked in the congressional page program.
"I embarrassed my family, the staff, my constituents and the House of Representatives that I loved. I loved governing and being part of the process. And I threw it all away. I have no one else to blame but myself," Foley told Hannity, a conservative talk show host.
Foley spoke in a 20-minute interview scheduled prior to the breaking of the "Weinergate" scandal, in which Weiner first claimed his Twitter account had been hacked but later tearfully admitted he had sent inappropriate photos and messages himself.
"You cannot fix your problem. Whatever it is that's troubling him. Beautiful wife, wonderful family, a great constituency. Obviously wasn't enough for either one of us. He's not going to get better going back into the building and hope people give him a pass," Foley said.
After he resigned in 2006, just weeks before a pivotal election in which the Palm Beach Republican was replaced by a Democrat, Foley revealed he had been molested by a priest as an 11-year-old and entered rehab.
Foley, the host of his own radio show, toyed with the idea of running for mayor of West Palm Beach this year and didn't rule out a political resurrection Thursday evening.
The Weiner scandal and sordid tales of other political figures force him to confront his own wrongdoings, Foley said.
"Any time there's a scandal, it brings back the horrific pain that I caused the people that I love. We just have to pray every day that we are going to be a better human being. That we learn from these tragedies and these mistakes. And then move forward," Foley said.