WASHINGTON -- 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, Weiner acknowledged that he engaged in similar behavior even after resigning.