MAGA Diehards Just Can’t Quit Madison Cawthorn
SELMA, North Carolina — When Rep. Madison Cawthorn took to the stage to warm up to a Donald Trump rally on Saturday, he was not greeted as a light-hearted, light-hearted, or groundbreaking person.
These days, that’s the response the 26-year-old congressman is getting from Republicans and Democrats in Washington.
But in this North Carolina field next to Interstate 95, Cawthorn was greeted by a hero. To the MAGA hardliners gathered there, he was a knight in shining armor — a survivor with an inspiring tale of overcoming adversity, a clean, well-spoken young man. skillful, mothers only love the daughter they love.
To the extent that they were thinking about the long string of controversies that sent Cawthorn’s reputation down the drain in Washington, rally attendees who spoke to The Daily Beast were more likely to shrug their shoulders than grimace, to cheer him up rather than turn his back.
When asked about Cawthorn’s most recent scandal – his allegation that he saw legislators making “significant collisions” with cocaine and a person invited him to attend. joined a struggle – this crowd showed little of the legitimate outrage that the congressman’s GOP colleagues had.
But some of those who attended the rally actually believed Cawthorn’s claims. Furthermore, they welcomed the backlash he faced as proof that he was doing something right.
Karen Mitchell, who traveled to the rally from central North Carolina with her husband Dart, said Cawthorn faced reprimands because members of Congress “didn’t want anyone to know what they were doing.”
“I don’t think he’s lying,” Mitchell said. “Why make it up?”
When asked what he did with the hot water Cawthorn kept coming to, her husband Dart quickly interjected: “We like hot water.”
Another attendee, Dylan Franklin of nearby Clayton, shrugged in response – “eghh” – when asked about Cawthorn’s cocaine and orgy remarks. “It’s murky water, especially in DC,” Franklin said. “I don’t know what to believe these days.”
Still, Franklin was willing to put at least some faith in Cawthorn. “I definitely like him,” he said. “He’s the new wave we need in America.”
The ability to somehow become more famous through scandal is a quality Cawthorn can share with Trump, his political icon.
Some of the protesters even lined them up – literally.
For Bruce Wilson, a 20-year-old business student, Cawthorn is “on the same footing” as Trump.
Of the 14 attendees The Daily Beast interviewed, half knew enough about Cawthorn to have an opinion on him. For one person, the opinions of those who have done so are very effective. If the crowd’s reaction to Cawthorn’s speech — and Trump’s personal name check later in the night — was any indication, the audience in Selma was already full of fans.
That reception must have been good news for Cawthorn. He’s not just on thin ice in DC — with Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reportedly urging him to “turn his life around” — he’s facing major trouble. real ruler at home in his county. Half a dozen Republicans are turning against him in a sudden competitive GOP primaries where his biggest liability may be the months he runs in another county.
The problem for the young conservative idol, however, is that the Cawthorn hardliners gathered Saturday in an eastern North Carolina field were not eligible to actually vote for Cawthorn in the far Northwest county. His Carolina — as much as they can.
Morgan Wells, a resident of New Bern, said: “It stinks, talking about her inability to vote for Cawthorn.
Still, Saturday’s protest could resonate with the lawmaker, who is troubled in important ways at home. Amid scrutiny in DC and questions about his political future back home, Cawthorn benefited from taking the stage on the official MAGA group at the rally, which received a lot of attention. comments from the right-wing media and warm praise from Trump himself.
“I love him,” Trump said, before adding a touch of irony as he told the elephant in the room: “He’s never been controversial — there’s no arguing.”
Less ironically, Trump said that Cawthorn had “respect everywhere” and that “he had a big say.”
Indeed, Cawthorn’s high-pitched timbre was evident in his kick-off speech, which was filled with biblical references, Mark Twain quotes, and calls for impeachment of the President. Joe Biden and jailed Anthony Fauci.
The congressman opened by telling the crowd that “dark forces” were “controlling the levers of power” in Washington, prompting the crowd to nod solemnly.
But the emotional climax of Cawthorn’s original speech wasn’t political — it was personal. About halfway through, he recounted the story of an accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Aided by assistants, he ended the story by lifting himself from his wheelchair to stand at the podium, prompting a passionate cheer from the audience.
Cawthorn used that impressive performance in his speech at the 2020 Republican convention, a moment that got many Republicans excited about his potential.
That excitement may give way to exasperation in Washington, but as long as enthusiasm persists among members of the MAGA base, Cawthorn thinks there is some future within the party where Trump continues to dominate treat.
Simply put, many of them like what Cawthorn has to say most of the time. For example, Dart Mitchell mentioned a recent Cawthorn moment that prompted viral mockery on the left — his use of the term “ankle cutter” to refer to male anatomy during his speech at floor — with a burst of applause.
And some protesters took issue with Cawthorn’s recent smearing of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy as a “thug” with an “evil” government. Franklin, for example, wholeheartedly agreed to this request.
In this audience, that kind of rhetoric isn’t hysterical – it’s just common sense.
“Others see him as controversial,” said Wilson, the student. “I don’t think it’s him.”
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