Senator Richard Burr becomes first Republican to say he'd vote for Sanders, although he now denies the claim, demands retraction.
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A U.S. Republican Senator who reportedly told supporters he would vote for fellow Senator Bernie Sanders over fellow GOP Senator Ted Cruz is now denying he ever made the statement, and demanding a retraction from the Associated Press. The AP insists its report is accurate and is refusing to change it.
In an AP article today reporting on the GOP's general dislike of Sen. Ted Cruz, this paragraph appears:
Still, Cruz has become such a pariah that one of his colleagues, Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, told supporters at a campaign fundraiser for his own re-election that he would vote for liberal Sen. Bernie Sanders for president before Cruz, according to one person who attended the event. Burr did not appear to be joking, said the person, who demanded anonymity to discuss the private gathering.
Not surprisingly, Sen. Burr is now pushing back.
On Twitter, Burr went ballistic:
I said no such thing. Check your facts or destroy your credibility. https://t.co/DjIgF5kr6c— Richard Burr (@Burrforsenate) January 21, 2016
Burr's local North Carolina paper, the Charlotte Observer, reports that "Burr faces a March 15 primary against three other Republicans. One, Greg Brannon, wasted little time in responding to the article."
Brannon "issued a news release headlined, 'Burr goes full Socialist – threatens to vote for Bernie Sanders over Cruz.'"
The National Memo reports that "Burr also went into damage control mode against the right-wing backlash that had built up over the day," pointing to this tweet from the North Carolina Senator in response to Tea Party extremist and Fox News contributor Erick Erickson:
Erickson also posted this:
Just remember Richard Burr called for an investigation into Ted Cruz a while back. Does not like him. AP stands by the story.— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) January 21, 2016
Meanwhile, the Associated Press isn't granting the retraction request.
“As we have told Sen. Burr’s campaign, we stand by our story,” AP vice president and director of media relations Paul Colford said.
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