Cal Cunningham's Campaign Tries Touting His Record With Veterans, It Backfires Spectacularly

AP Photo/Gerry Broome

As I wrote last week, Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s handpicked Senate nominee Cal Cunningham has not only become persona non grata in elite Democratic circles, but he’s also seriously angered the North Carolina political press corps – something almost unheard of for a Democrat in this state to do.

The married father of two and Army Reservist, who apologized earlier this month for an affair he had with the wife of a wounded Army veteran, appears to be trying to ride out the rest of his campaign by dodging the media and not answering questions, instead doing the occasional virtual event or small in-person gathering.

His campaign staffers are picking up most of the slack, including flooding social media with tweets touting Cunningham’s accomplishments and attempting to contrast his record with that of his Republican opponent Sen. Thom Tillis.

But just as Cunningham’s strategy of avoiding the media has backfired spectacularly, so has the strategy of having your staffers do your talking for you, as his campaign manager Devan Barber found out the hard way today.

Barber took to the Twitter machine in the wee hours of the morning to try and get Cunningham’s week started off on the right note. In a tweet, Barber talked of the supposed need to contrast Cunningham’s record with veterans to Tillis’ record. Here’s what she said:

Twitter users were quick to shoot down such contrasts by giving Barber and the Cunningham campaign a little reality check on the differences between Cunningham and Tillis on veterans issues:

Sen. Tillis’ comms guy Dan Keylin got in on the action, too, dropping this MOAB on Barber’s claims:

As did the NRSC, who reminded Barber and the Cunningham campaign of the ad Tillis is running featuring veterans condemning Cunningham’s conduct:

Here’s a thought: Instead of Cunningham’s campaign putting their feet in their mouths on veterans issues, maybe have the candidate try being forthright with North Carolina voters (including the tens of thousands of veterans who live here with their families) for a change, by stepping forward and allowing interviews where tough but fair questions are asked and answered about his conduct?

Cunningham has run his entire campaign on the “family man, trust matters in NC, military code of honor” persona. If you base your candidacy on such claims, questions about your faithfulness to your wife and family, as well as your commitment to your military brothers and sisters, are most definitely fair game.

Related –>> Dem Senate Nominee Cal Cunningham Keeps Stepping in It as More Questions Are Raised About Affair Scandals