At the time of the 2018 midterms, Republicans had held South Carolina’s 1st Congressional district since 1981. Democrat Joe Cunningham changed that by defeating narrowly defeating Republican Katie Arrington by around 4,000 votes. Cunningham later joined the moderate Blue Dog Democrats.
With such a close race in 2018, the GOP has their eyes on retaking the seat in 2020 and are willing to go low in an effort to take it back. This week, the National Republican Reelection Committee mocked Cunningham and his wife for attending marriage counseling sessions.
Earlier this month, Amanda Cunningham revealed on her Instagram account that her healthcare plan didn’t cover mental health. She wrote, “It’s just mind blowing to me that these basic well-known needs—that mental health is health care—are still being denied, that we’re still fighting for this absolutely basic thing. It’s unbelievable to me.”
When Amanda Cunningham then shared a post in support of Beto O’Rourke, the NRCC used her therapy session reveal to mock her. The group shared her post and tweeted, “Looks like Mrs. Cunningham likes a man who supports baseless impeachment…wonder if this will come up in Rep. Cunningham’s marriage counseling.”
— NRCC (@NRCC) September 26, 2019
After the serious criticism of the heavily ratioed tweet, the NRCC doubled down on it’s comments. The group’s communications director, Chris Pack, tweeted, “It’s not our fault that Rep. Cunningham’s wife publicly complains about having to pay for her marriage counseling, John. Take it up with her.”
Joe Cunningham, himself, responded to the tweet by writing, “Amanda is my rock – and the NRCC just hit rock bottom. respect my wife and all women, y’all should give it a try. Let’s show them there’s a price for living in the gutter.”
Amanda is my rock – and the @NRCC just hit rock bottom. I respect my wife and all women, y’all should give it a try.
Let’s show them there’s a price for living in the gutter.
— Joe Cunningham (@JoeCunninghamSC) September 27, 2019
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com, and PoliticusUSA. An avid pet lover, he has been known to contribute to Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology, and spending time at the shore with his family.