Skip to comments.North Carolina Hopeful Field-Tests a Few Jabs Against Burr
Posted on 09/02/2009 5:36:26 PM PDT by MitchellC
If the zingers Democrat Cal Cunnigham was directing at freshman Sen. Richard M. Burr last week are any indication, the former state senator is getting ready to take on the Republican incumbent in 2010.
In a videotaped speech to a Democratic gathering in Charlotte now making the Internet rounds, Cunningham hit Burr early and often. "In 15 years on Capitol Hill you can't name one thing that Richard Burr has done to make your life better, and I can't either," he declared, referencing Burr's time as a senator and a congressman.
Cunningham, an Iraq War vet, noted, "During the same period of time that Richard Burr was missing more than half of his Veterans Affairs Committee hearings, I was twice called to active duty for a war that he voted to authorize with no plan to keep the peace."
And he went after Burr's now infamous April comments in which he said that during the height of the financial crisis in the fall of 2008, he encouraged his wife to go and take out the maximum amount of cash from the ATM. Said Cunningham: "At the same time he was calling from Washington to his wife to hit the ATM machine and take cash out I was calling from Baghdad just to find out how my family was doing." Cunningham served as a senior trial counsel in the Multi-National Corps in 2007.
What really got the crowd howling, however, was his likening of Burr to a "post turtle." That, he explained, is something you encounter when "you're walking down an old country road and you see a turtle sitting up on a fence post."
"You know he didn't get there by himself, doesn't belong there, and he's not doing any good up there on that fence post, waving his arms. And out of a deep sense of compassion you just want to put him back down where he belongs."
As the crowd's response to his speech underscored, the young, telegenic Cunningham is capable of energizing the party base and has become a favorite of the state's netroots. He represents a stark contrast with the more staid, centrist Bob Etheridge, the seven-term congressman who is the party establishment's top choice to run.
Etheridge declined to discuss a possible bid during a press conference call on Monday.
The Democrats have had a tough time finding a top-tier candidate to take on Burr in 2010, despite his underwhelming approval ratings in the state. Durham, N.C., attorney Kenneth Lewis is the only Democrat officially in the race. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy and former Lt. Gov. Dennis Wicker have also expressed interest in a campaign.
CQ Politics currently rates the general election contest a Toss Up.
I have been a JesseCrat for 30+ years and will enjoy voting in the Democratic primary for the candidate most likely to lose to Burr.
We were executing operation Chaos before Rush named it.
I miss Jesse. Dole was a dud and Burr isn’t anything to write home about. Edwards was a disaster and Hagan will be too.