Exclusive: Republican Katie Arrington Lights Up Democrat Joe Cunningham for Politicizing Tragic Car Accident

Hospital photos of congressional candidate Katie Arrington recovering from a car crash.
Katie Arrington

Katie Arrington, the GOP nominee for Congress in South Carolina’s First Congressional district, is lighting up her Democrat opponent Joe Cunningham for politicizing her tragic car accident that took one life and nearly claimed her life and the life of her friend a few weeks ago.

Arrington shocked the world when in June she defeated Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) in a contentious primary. Breitbart News was weeks ahead of the rest of the media in realizing she would defeat the Never Trump frequent GOP Trump critic Sanford, and President Donald Trump endorsed Arrington in the final hours before the polls closed, pushing her over the top and avoiding a runoff with the former governor and powerful U.S. congressman.

Just over a week later, Arrington was en route to an event in Hilton Head, South Carolina, as a passenger in a car that was involved in a head-on collision with a car traveling the wrong way down the highway. The driver of the other car was killed, and Arrington and the driver of the car in which she was riding sustained life-threatening injuries. Arrington had multiple emergency surgeries and spent weeks in the hospital before finally returning to the campaign trail on Monday. The driver of the car she was riding in, her friend Jacqueline Goff, sustained even more serious injuries and remains in the hospital.

The driver of the other car, 69-year-old Helen White, was killed on impact. Ms. White was drunk, per a CNN report, and had a blood alcohol level of nearly twice the legal limit.

Arrington’s Democrat opponent, Joe Cunningham, had pledged to suspend his campaign until she returned, a promise he broke almost immediately when national Democrats connected with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) flooded South Carolina to take advantage of a weakened Arrington. The move, which seems to try to take advantage of her injuries sustained in the deadly car accident, appears to be backfiring, however, as Arrington, from a wheelchair on Monday, lit up Cunningham for breaking his pledge to suspend his campaign while she recovered.

“Number one, I have a mission,” Arrington told Breitbart News editor-in-chief Alex Marlow in an exclusive interview on Breitbart News Daily on Monday morning when Marlow asked about how she is so optimistic after the fatal car accident she survived. “True Republicans, true patriots, we have a mission. I say this very proudly: You can’t keep a good woman down. You can hit me with a car. You can slam me. I mean, the Dems down here in South Carolina, the guy I’m running against, says while I’m in the ICU–he suspends his campaign–right? But he has the DCCC in town, and then before I’m even out of the ICU, he’s doing a fundraising event and tries to play it off like he’s a saint. It is unbelievable how the liberal left just keeps spinning lies.”


Later on Monday, at a campaign event in Mount Pleasant–speaking from a wheelchair at her first event back on the campaign trail since the debilitating June 22 accident–Arrington lit up Cunningham and his Democratic leftist campaign advisers for their partisan hackery regarding the accident.

“My opponent’s Democrat Party is literally calling to abolish ICE and supports open borders,” Arrington said in her speech. “While my opponent has been spending the past few months trying to sound reasonable, he can’t run from Nancy Pelosi and the D.C. Democrats who are bankrolling his campaign and sending operatives to the Lowcountry to support him. But it’s more than that. It took him only a few days to begin lying about my record. I have a proven legislative record of supporting free-market alternative energy solutions and common-sense environmental legislation, and in Congress, I will work to protect the beauty of the Lowcountry. I do not support drilling for oil off of South Carolina’s coasts. I wish the out-of-touch policy positions, lies, and political partners were the worst. But they aren’t.”



From there, Arrington proceeded to detail how the Democrat Cunningham resumed his campaign while she was still in the hospital–and how Cunningham’s campaign adviser, Tyler Jones, is using the accident to score political points against her.

“Joe Cunningham suspended his campaign immediately following my accident. And I thanked him for it,” Arrington said. “And then he unsuspended it to send out fundraising emails while I was still in the hospital and incapacitated. He also cut a deal to bring operatives from D.C. to Charleston while I was still in the hospital. And just this past Saturday, Joe’s campaign manager took to Twitter to claim our supporters were quote-unquote ‘playing this card,’ in reference to the accident that killed Ms. White and severely injured my best friend and me.”

Arrington said that despite the best efforts of the Democrats and particularly Cunningham and his campaign adviser to mock her for the accident, it is not “a game.”

“The fact that a lady lost her life on June 22nd isn’t a quote-unquote card to play,” Arrington said. “The fact that Jackie Goff will likely be hospitalized for several more weeks and have months, if not years, of recovery before her is not a quote-unquote card to play. The fact that I suffered a spinal injury including a fracture to my second vertebrae, two broken ribs, fracture in my ankle, fractures on both feet, a bone chip in my left shoulder, bleeding of my abdominal wall, an injury to my iliac artery, and had my right colon and part of my small intestine removed is not a quote-unquote card to play. None of this is a card to play or a game in any way, shape, or form. Suggesting otherwise is vile and reprehensible. You heard me right. Joe’s campaign manager tweeted that on Saturday night.”

The tweet that Arrington referenced is still active, as of press time, on Cunningham’s campaign adviser’s Twitter account:

The tweet came in response to the revelation that Cunningham–because he was fundraising and campaigning when he said he would not while Arrington was in the hospital recovering from life-threatening injuries after the deadly car crash she survived–out-raised Arrington this month:

Arrington would not criticize Ms. White during her appearance on Breitbart News Daily on Monday.

“So here’s my thought on this: The woman passed in the accident,” Arrington said. “I saw her die. I don’t know that there’s any more that we can do other than pray for her family because you know I lost my dad incredibly suddenly–his was an aneurysm–but pray for her family. They didn’t get to say goodbye, and no matter what mistake a human being makes, it’s a tragic mistake and cost her her life. My best friend is in the hospital for weeks and weeks. She’s going to be in there for at least another two to three weeks with months if not years of recovery. Me, I know where I’m at. I’m sitting here this morning looking at a cast, which, by the way, I put in red, white, and blue–it looks like the flag–but we as Americans need to be kind and need to be compassionate to each other and to the circumstances. And the one thing this accident does, I think, is it brings back to the forefront, drinking and driving is not acceptable on any level. If you love someone, if you truly love someone, and you see that they’re drunk, and they’re getting in their car, save them, and take the keys. Call them an Uber, call them a Lyft, do whatever. Don’t let them drive. But as far as Ms. White, the woman who hit me, I can only pray for her because she’s had the ultimate, you know, she’s no longer alive. I can’t beat that anymore; she’s dead. I lived. By the grace of God, I lived.”

On the show on Monday, Arrington also defended President Donald Trump, a strong supporter of her campaign, meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin–and defended Trump’s golfing. She also thanked Breitbart News and the conservatives who read and listen to Breitbart News for all the help they gave her in the primary and are giving her in the general election.

“Thank you to the Breitbart audience; you guys helped get Mark Sanford out and get me in,” she said, before later asking for the Breitbart audience to help her out again through November.

“Down here in South Carolina, the gentleman I’m running against is spinning lies already, and it’s July,” Arrington also said later in the program. “He’s twisting facts to try to make himself look good. So I need all the help I can get from the Breitbart audience listening.”


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