Chuck Schumer says Democrats didn’t take the Senate because sex-scandal hit North Carolina candidate Cal Cunningham ‘couldn’t keep his zipper up’
- Chuck Schumer said, according to a Tuesday report, Cal Cunningham prevented Democrats from taking Senate majority because he ‘couldn’t keep his zipper up’
- Cal Cunningham, who is married, lost his bid in North Carolina’s hotly contested Senate race after news broke of an affair he had with a married woman
- Schumer says Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death also gave Maine Senator Susan Collins a chance to reshape the Supreme Court justice appointment debate
- The Senate Minority leader, when speaking to Democratic donors, attributes these two factors to the party not winning a majority
- Democrats are still holding out for two Georgia runoff races next month
- If they win both, the Senate will be split 50-50 with Democrat vice president-elect Kamala Harris holding the tie-breaking vote
Chuck Schumer, according to a Tuesday report, told Democrat donors that the fact North Carolina loser Cal Cunningham ‘couldn’t keep his zipper up’ ruined the party’s chances of winning back a majority in the Senate.
A source familiar with conversations between the Senate Minority leader and party donors told Axios that Schumer used the ‘zipper’ comment on several calls.
He also shared with donors that he regrets successfully recruiting Cunningham to run against incumbent North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis, who was considered one of the Republicans most in jeopardy of losing his seat.
Cunningham ran a closer-than-expected race last month in North Carolina against Thom Tillis and many thought the seat could turn blue, but a cheating scandal derailed his public office ambitions.
The Democratic challenger admitted a month before the November 3 election to exchanging sexually suggestive text messages with a woman who is not his wife.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, according to a Tuesday report, that Cal Cunningham prevented Democrats from taking the Senate majority because he ‘couldn’t keep his zipper up’
Cal Cunningham (left with his wife), the Democratic challenger in North Carolina’s closely contested U.S. Senate contest had an affair with a married woman, Arlene Guzman (right) this year
Arlene Guzman, a married woman and campaign strategist, confirmed in October that she had a consensual physical relationship with Cunningham in 2020.
Tillis earned 48.7 per cent of the vote to Cunningham’s 46.9 per cent – merely a 1.8 per cent margin.
Schumer shared with donors during recent calls, according to sources with direct knowledge of the conversations, that Cunningham’s actions and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death just ahead of the election ruined Democrats’ chances of regaining their majority in the upper chamber.
He said that the liberal justice’s death gave Maine Senator Susan Collins, another Republican in a hotly contested race, the ability to redeem herself in the Supreme Court vacancies debate.
Collins was chastised by left-leaners for voting to confirm Brett Kavanaugh after he faced charges of sexual assault, but when Ginsburg died, the Maine senator appealed to Democrats, independents and undecideds by opposing filling her seat until voters picked the next president.
The Republican-majority Senate still went ahead with confirming conservative Amy Coney Barrett, but Collins was able to gain some political ground back from her no vote.
A few sources claim Schumer made this comment about Cunningham (pictured) in calls with several Democratic donors recently
Republican Senator Thom Tillis was able to hold onto his seat despite his being one of those most at risk of flipping blue on November 3
Collins defended her seat against Democratic challenger Sara Gideon by an 8.6 per cent margin.
The New York senator and other Democrats are still holding out for two Senate runoff races in Georgia, where they could earn a 50-50 split in the Senate and have vice president-elect Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking vote.
Schumer, however, blames Tillis for ruining their chances at an outright majority or at least another seat closer to a split with a Democratic VP tie-breaker.
November 3 election results have the new Senate sitting at 46 Democrats, with two independent senators who caucus with Democrats, and 50 Republicans. The future of both of Georgia’s Senate seats will be determined in January 5 runoff elections.
Georgia’s incumbent Republican Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue each did not earn the 50 per cent needed to avoid a runoff.
Schumer told donors during his recent calls since the election that he regrets not being able to successfully recruit Stacey Abrams to run for one of the two Senate seats in the Peach State.
A source familiar with private talks told Axios that Schumer acknowledged his attempt to recruit Abrams when talking about the Georgia races, but said the failed gubernatorial candidate insisted Raphael Warnock was the right choice to run against Loeffler.
In Loeffler’s reelection bid she lost 20 per cent of the Republican vote to fellow Republican challenger and current Georgia Representative Doug Collins. Warnock earned 32.9 per cent. They will face-off in the January 5 runoffsPerdue earned 49.7 per cent of the vote to Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff’s 47.9 per cent – a 1.8 per cent margin.