Unlike the labor wing of the party, which worries about Trump's appeal to working-class white voters, and operatives who fear a scorched-earth campaign, Weiner says the real estate tycoon's inherent flaws will ultimately doom his candidacy. Put simply, Trump's campaign reminds Weiner of his own race for mayor of New York City in 2013.
"Donald Trump, if he’s the nominee, with 65 percent negatives, is not going to be our president," Weiner said. "I just know that that’s the case. I had that problem."
In the latest episode of our "Candidate Confessional" podcast, Weiner twice drew parallels between Trump's campaign and his own.
In 2013, Weiner entered his primary in a similar position to Trump: He was a flawed candidate who benefited from running in a crowded field. "When you're in a five-way race, having 40 percent negatives is not disqualifying. ... [as] Donald Trump will attest," he said.
So far, Trump has largely overcome moments when it seemed like his candidacy would implode. He's managed to win races even as the Republican field has thinned out. But a clean delegate win still isn't a sure bet, and the party is belatedly consolidating around Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
Weiner, who was ultimately undone after news surfaced that he'd sent more explicit texts than he'd previously acknowledged, believes that reality will catch up with Trump. There was no massive negative ad blitz at the end of Weiner's mayoral campaign -- at that point, he was too far down in the polls to matter. But Weiner can easily envision one that targets Trump, because like Weiner, he provides easy targets. That ad campaign, Weiner imagines, would be crippling.
"It’s funny, I hadn’t thought till right this moment about how many Trump parallels there are to [my] race," Weiner said. "This is the second time his race has come up. It’s kind of instructive."