RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - Democratic senatorial nominee Cal Cunningham refused to elaborate Friday on questions regarding an alleged extra-marital affair and his admission of sending sexual texts to a woman who is not his wife. During a video call with reporters, Cunningham did not offer any additional details about the personal issues that have impacted his campaign for the past week.
“I have taken responsibility for the hurt that I have caused in my personal life, and I’ve apologized for it,” Cunningham said several times when asked by reporters whether his recent personal activities are fair game for voters to review while judging his candidacy, or whether he owes voters more of an explanation on what happened in his personal life. “I’ve said what I’m going to say about it. I’ve answered the questions. North Carolinians want me, and their senator, focused on them because that’s what they expect.”
Cunningham had three supporters on the virtual press call including a small business owner, the president of the North Carolina Association of Educators, and a union representative speaking about issues involving airline workers. Each criticized Cunningham’s opponent, incumbent Sen. Thom Tillis, saying he failed help their industries through the difficulties associated with the COViD-19 pandemic. When asked repeatedly to offer an explanation into his personal indiscretions, Cunningham deferred to focusing on the supporters' calls for more help from Congress in the form of federal pandemic assistance.
“I have apologized to the supporters of this campaign, and now this campaign is about much more, things much bigger than me,” Cunningham said. “It’s about Grant and Lynne and Tameka and the countless hundreds of thousands of people across our state that need help right now.”
Cunningham said Sen. Tillis wants to talk about the personal issues because he does not want to talk about his record representing North Carolinians in the U.S. Senate. In an interview from his home near Charlotte where he is isolating after testing positive for COVID-19, Sen. Tillis, who is running for a second term, admitted it is uncomfortable talking about his opponent’s personal life. But he believes Cunningham’s own campaign makes the allegations an issue.
“It’s not about that very personal matter that Cal is going to have to reconcile with his family,” Sen. Tillis said. “It’s about the integrity and truthfulness of a candidate who was being untruthful and not being honorable at a time when he said his whole campaign was premised on truth and honor.”