Report: Schumer Blames Ginsburg Death and Candidate's Affair for Dem Senate Failures
In a recent call with party donors, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer blamed Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death and North Carolina Democratic candidate Cal Cunningham for the Democrats’ Senate race failures, sources with direct knowledge of the conversations told Axios.
Democrats’ hopes to secure a Senate majority in the 2020 election ended when Cunningham lost in North Carolina and Sen. Susan Collins won in Maine.
The Senate minority leader told donors Cunningham lost because he “couldn’t keep his zipper up,” referencing the candidate’s affair.
Weeks before the election, Cunningham acknowledged that he had exchanged “sexually suggestive texts” with a woman who was not his wife and additional texts confirmed the pair had an intimate encounter in July, The Associated Press reported.
“I’ve taken responsibility for the hurt that I’ve caused in my personal life. I’ve apologized for it,” he told reporters on Oct. 9.
“I’ve said what I’m going to say about it.”
North Carolina had a chance to go blue before news of the affair surfaced.
Schumer lamented successfully recruiting Cunningham to run for Senate when he was unable to recruit Stacey Abrams in Georgia.
In Georgia, Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock are looking to unseat Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.
The two Senate races will be decided in a runoff election on Jan. 5 after neither candidate won a majority of the votes in November.
Georgia’s runoff elections will decide the balance of power in the incoming Senate.
The current balance of power is 50 Republicans and 46 Democrats (as well as two independents who caucus with the Democrats). Democrats need to win both of the runoff elections to make it 50-50 Senate and presumptive vice president-elect Kamala Harris would be the tie-breaking vote.
Schumer also said that Ginsburg’s death let Collins reshape the debate about how to fill Supreme Court vacancies. Collins was re-elected this year, defeating Democrat Sara Gideon.
The Maine Republican was criticized for voting to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018 in the face of sexual assault allegations.
However, after Ginsburg died, Collins opposed filling her seat until voters get the chance to pick the next president.
“Given the proximity of the presidential election … I do not believe that the Senate should vote on the nominee prior to the election,” Collins said in a statement.
“In fairness to the American people, who will either be re-electing the President or selecting a new one, the decision on a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court should be made by the President who is elected on November 3rd.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.