RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (AP) - Senator Richard Burr and Democratic challenger Deborah Ross met for their first televised debate, Thursday night.

Part of the debate focused on the 2016 Presidential election.

Senator Burr says he takes Donald Trump at his word that he didn't commit sexual assault after allegations from women this week.

The claims follow a video that surfaced in which Trump bragged about kissing and groping women.

Burr said at the televised debate that he's supporting Trump for president even though he has concerns about the billionaire businessman.

But Burr says he has more concerns about Hillary Clinton's lack of judgment, citing her private email server and the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya.

Burr also said only a handful of Republican U.S. senators have publicly distanced themselves from Trump.

Ross blasted Burr for sticking with Trump, saying he "has toed the party line even when Donald Trump has crossed the line." She says Trump is not qualified to be commander in chief.

The candidates also addressed the controversial House Bill 2.

Ross argued that the bill has had a big impact on the North Carolina economy.

When asked if he thought the law has hurt business, Senator Burr said based on the economic data he sees North Carolina still attracts investments and creates jobs every week.

Thursday's debate is the only scheduled debate between Burr and Ross.