After appearing to put the blame on his wife last week, indicted California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter said Tuesday he wants prosecutors to leave her out of the ongoing legal fight.
Hunter told the 10News, the San Diego ABC affiliate, that he wants investigators to focus on him.
“It’s me that they’re after, they want to take me down,” he said. “That’s what they’re up to. So let’s get this in the arena and have it settled.”
Hunter did not answer any further questions about his financial situation or his Democratic opponent Ammar Campa-Najjar.
The remarks come after Hunter told Fox News last week after he and his wife Margaret were indicted that she was in charge of his finances, “So whatever she did, that’ll be looked at, too.”
The Hunters are charged with using $250,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses. Both pleaded not guilty at their arraignment.
Constituents interviewed by the San Diego Union-Tribune who had voted for Hunter expressed disappointment in him.
Lauretta Reeves said she would not vote for Hunter again but would need to look into his opponent.
“I think his wife as the campaign manager should have been responsible,” she said. “And you have to watch those things when you are a public representative.”
Jody Castor, who lives in Palomar Mountain, said she could not trust Hunter anymore.
“There are too many counts against him for him to not know what was going on and be a public representative, I think it’s foolish.”
Castor also said she heard about Hunter spending more than $400 on steak and shots of tequila at a Mexican restaurant.
But Hunter had defenders, too. Lester Bennett said he thinks Democrats are pressing into the matter and trying to discourage people from voting for Republicans.
“I think there's probably just as many Democrats out there, if not worse than Hunter,” he said.
Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race for California's 50th District as Likely Republican. And a poll conducted after the indictment showed Hunter with a 9-point lead over his Democratic opponent, former Obama administration official Ammar Campa-Najjar.
Watch: House Ratings Change in Favor of Democrats