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It seems that Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) is not concerned about votes as he ends his first term in the House. Instead, he would rather have chaos surrounding him as one of the most far-right members of Congress. He recently raised the ire of fellow Republicans after making a series of inflammatory statements about his colleagues’ drug use and orgies.
He continued this trend while speaking at former President Donald Trump’s rally in North Carolina over the past weekend. The freshman representative promised President Joe Biden’s impeachment and prison for Dr. Anthony Fauci. He vowed:
We will embrace the spirit of our Founding Fathers. We will investigate…Fauci and send him to jail for lying to Congress.
The Congressman spoke of the importance of releasing the government from so-called “dark forces,” and stressed the need to place Republicans in control of the White House and Congress. Cawthorn’s diatribe included restoring the Second Amendment by nullifying the National Firearms Act, which has been amended several times since it became law in 1934, Business Insider reports.
“We will secure our borders and finally my friends, we will impeach…Biden for his dereliction of duty,” Cawthorn told rally attendees. He referred to Biden as a “geriatic despot.”
The youngest Congressional member, 26 years old, has provided fellow Republicans, opponents, and voters controversy during these past two years. Cawthorn has been accused of sexual misconduct.
He warned there would be “bloodshed” if the next election were stolen and referred to individuals arrested for their actions during the Jan. 6th attack at the Capitol as “political prisoners.”
Cawthorn told supporters he believed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was a “thug.” Moreover, he accused the “corrupt” Ukrainian president of feeding Americans misinformation. “Remember that the Ukrainian government is incredibly corrupt and is incredibly evil and has been pushing woke ideologies,” he explained in a video posted by WRAL.
These comments prompted one of his seven GOP challengers in the 11th Congressional District May 17th primary to criticize Cawhtorn’s assessment. Michele Woodhouse “called the comments about Zelenskyy out of touch and boorish,” according to WRAL.
Another of his GOP opponents, Chuck Edwards, was recently endorsed by Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.). Edwards, a state senator, “would never embarrass Western North Carolina with a consistent pattern of juvenile behavior, outlandish statements, and untruthfulness,” explained Tillis, according to NPR.
A retired sheriff, George Erwin, thinks voters feel the same and have “jumped ship.” Erwin was initially impressed by Cawthorn and his resilience after the car accident that left him paralyzed. However, he disavowed his district’s representative after hearing him speak at Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021, before the deadly attempted coup at the Capitol.
Erwin no longer finds Cawthorn trustworthy and will cast his GOP primary ballot for Army veteran Rod Honeycutt. “The people in the mountains, most of us are Scotch-Irish heritage,” Erwin told NPR. “We like to look people in the eye, ask them a pointed question, get a straight answer, shake their hand and feel their hand grip.”
Like Trump, the Congressman does have supporters in his district. Paul Heyer, a barbershop owner, was not impressed with Senator Tillis’ criticism of Cawthorn. However, the businessman believes that he is good for North Carolina as long as his representative “gets the job done,” he is good for North Carolina. “I don’t have a problem with him stirring the pot.” Heyer voted for Cawthorn in 2020 and intends to vote for him again in 2022.
In February 2022, Free Speech for People tried to keep him from running for office again. They asserted that his actions before and during the attack on the Capitol last year were equivalent to engaging in insurrection. As a result, the organization stated he violated the United States Constitution. After the Civil War, the 14th Amendment was passed to prevent someone who had sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution could not hold public office after engaging in an insurrection.
A federal judge blocked Free Speech for People’s effort citing the Amnesty Act of 1872, which forgave Confederates. The court claimed the Act overruled the 14th Amendment clause banning insurrectionists from holding public office, in Cawthorn’s case, Congress.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
NPR: Cawthorn’s inflammatory comments have some Republicans in his district tiring of him; by Steve Harrison
WRAL.com: US Rep. Madison Cawthorn calls Ukrainian president ‘thug,’ later says both Russia, Ukraine are ‘very vile;’ by Bryan Anderson and Travis Fain
Business Insider: Rep. Madison Cawthorn called for Fauci’s imprisonment and Biden’s impeachment during a Trump rally
The New York Times: Legal Effort Expands to Disqualify Republicans as ‘Insurrectionists;’ by Jonathan Weisman
Ashville Citizen-Times: Fresh off Trump rally, cocaine orgy story, no police endorsement, Cawthorn heads to debate
Images Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License