N.C. Dems debate the meaning of 'covered in oil'

North Carolina Senate candidate Cal Cunningham seemed to be channeling Jimmy Buffett at a Democratic forum in Raleigh Wednesday night.

When the topic of offshore oil drilling came up, Cunningham said: "If you go swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, you come out covered in oil."

One of Buffett's most famous lines is, "Nibblin' on sponge cake, watchin' the sun bake, all of those tourists covered with oil."

Attorney Ken Lewis (D), one of Cunningham's main rivals for the nomination, was quick to pounce. His campaign promptly called for Cunningham to "apologize" to the governors of Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas for his "'covered in oil' slur."

"I think Cal has been listening to too many Jimmy Buffet [sic] songs: That's not what he meant by 'all of those tourists covered in oil,'" said Bruce Clark, Lewis's campaign manager. 

A Cunningham spokeswoman said later that he was referring to the swimming near Galveston, Texas.