Who is Madison Cawthorn? | CTV News

Answer. Madison Cawthorn — the Republican freshman representing North Carolina’s 11th constituency in the U.S. House of Representatives — has in recent weeks been at the center of turmoil within the GOP.

At the age of 26, the youngest member of Congress caused an uproar in the Republican Party after claiming on a podcast that people in Washington had invited him to organize and use cocaine in front of him – the case. The latest in a string of controversies surrounding Cawthorn includes calling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a “thug” and the Ukrainian government “extremely evil.”

The comments from the political newcomer, who faced charges in March for driving with his license revoked for the second time in five years, outraged members of his party. angry.

CNN reported on Wednesday that Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina is throwing his weight behind one of Cawthorn’s main opponents — an unusually wide range against a Republican colleague from his hometown. home, when internal frustration with the controversial MAGA firefighting brand reached a boiling point.

According to multiple sources familiar with the discussions, other GOP lawmakers who are agreeing with Cawthorn are also considering endorsing one of his challengers, amid growing concerns that the Republican North Carolina Republicans are dragging the entire party down with his questionable behavior.

On Friday night, Cawthorn addressed his latest controversy in a claimed to have tweetedblamed the media and the left and vowed to “continue to fight for years to come.”

Ahead of the Tar Heel State’s May 17 primary, Cawthorn is facing a number of opponents, including: State Senator Chuck Edwards, whom Tillis says he is endorsing; Michele Woodhouse, a self-proclaimed “businesswoman and political activist”; Bruce O’Connell, a hotel and restaurant operator; Rod Honeycutt, a retired US Army colonel; Matthew Burril, a local businessman and economic leader; and Wendy Nevarez, a Navy veteran.

Cawthorn challengers are trying to capitalize on his numerous controversies, including his speech on January 6, 2021 in which he called on those at the rally to “Save the Country” America” ​​of President Donald Trump at the time running for election.


Cawthorn – who was partially paralyzed in a car crash in 2014 and the owner of a real estate investment firm and a motivational speaker before his time on Capitol Hill – has caused controversy. even before entering the halls of Parliament.

In 2020, he made an incredible political mark by winning the Republican nomination for the House of Representatives seat by then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, despite Trump endorsing one of the main opponent of the Republican Party.

After winning the primaries, the young Republican – who turned 25 before the general election, making him eligible to serve in the House of Representatives – gained the support of Trump and was praised for his charisma and appeal to young voters.

“He’s 24, he’s active, he can articulate his accessibility to younger voters. I’ve heard him called by some the ‘AOC of the right’.” I don’t know if that’s going to happen, but I think the generational puzzle is also key here,” said Chris Cooper, a political science professor at Western Carolina University, after his first win. Cawthorn’s fairy.

But CNN reported that Cawthorn was on the defensive after photos of a 2017 trip to Adolf Hitler’s motel surfaced on Instagram. He wrote that the visit had been on “his bucket list for a while” and “did not disappoint.”

Allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct by several women against Cawthorn while he was in college also surfaced after he began his political career. For his part, Cawthorn said: “I’ve never done anything sexually inappropriate in my life.”


Cawthorn has become a close ally of Trump and voted to overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

Since then, however, the North Carolina congressman has contradicted himself with his statement about the 2020 election.

In January 2021, Cawthorn admitted that there was no fraud in the 2020 election after he voted to maintain the opposition of electoral votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania when Congress met to certify the victory. of then President-elect Joe Biden.

“Yes, I think I would say the election was not rigged,” he told CNN at the time. “You know, the Constitution allows us to be able to push back as much as possible, and I did that to the extent of the constitutional limits I had at my disposal. So now I’m going to say that Joseph R. Biden is our president.”

However, last August, Cawthorn suggested there could be “bloodshed” to future elections when he made false claims about election security and voter fraud.

Speaking at a North Carolina county GOP event, Cawthorn repeated his lie about the US election system being “rigged” and “stolen”, which he said would “lead to a place, and that’s bloodshed” if it continues.

“And I’ll tell you, as long as I’m willing to defend our freedoms at all costs, there’s nothing I’m more afraid to do than take up arms against a fellow American. And the way that What we can use to counter that is if we all enthusiastically demand that we have election security in all 50 states,” the North Carolina Republican said at the time.

Cawthorn spokesman Luke Ball told CNN in a statement at the time, “Congressman Cawthorn CLEARLY supports the absence of violence over questions of election integrity.”

“He fears others will choose that wrong path and strongly states that issues of election integrity should be resolved peacefully and never through violence,” Ball said. force.

Ball asserted in August that “Congressman Cawthorn’s position on the 2020 election remains consistent.”

In February, Cawthorn filed a lawsuit to block an attempt by liberal activists to disqualify him from running for Congress because of his role in the January 6 uprising. Cawthorn spoke at Trump’s January 6, 2021 rally and posted militant tweets ahead of the attack on the US Capitol.

During his trial, lawyers for the group Free Speech For People said Cawthorn essentially supported and abetted the uprising, and should be removed from his position because he “engaged in efforts to intimidate Congress and the Vice President denied valid electoral votes and overturned the essential constitutional function of an orderly and peaceful transfer of power.”

A federal judge in early March blocked a legal challenge to Cawthorn’s candidacy, but liberal activists, legal scholars and anti-Trump Republicans who oppose Cawthorn have fallen in love. asked the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to intervene and reinstate their challenge.

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