Effort To Unseat Madison Cawthorn Announced By GOP Group

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A super PAC connected to North Carolina Republican Senator Thom Tillis is dropping a whopping $310,000 on a new ad criticizing Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), who continues to attract criticism from fellow Republicans including Tillis, who’s backing a Republican primary challenger to Cawthorn. The new ad spotlights Cawthorn’s past lie that he’d been accepted into the U.S. Naval Academy, adding: “Now, Cawthorn’s been caught lying about conservatives. In perpetual pursuit of celebrity, Cawthorn will lie about anything.” The clip also quotes a description of Cawthorn as an “attention-seeking embarrassment,” subsequently concluding: “Madison Cawthorn lies for the limelight.” The description, of course, isn’t off-base — Cawthorn is among the Republicans in Congress who seem more interested in attention for themselves than results for constituents. Watch the ad below:

The group behind this new ad is called Results for NC and was originally put together in 2013 in support of Tillis’s initial campaign for Senate. In 2020, the group spent some $900,000 in support of Tillis’s ultimately successful re-election campaign. Meanwhile, Tillis himself is backing North Carolina GOP state Sen. Chuck Edwards in his primary bid against Cawthorn. Edwards also has support from North Carolina state Senate leader Sen. Phil Berger (R) and state House speaker Rep. Tim Moore (R) — both the top Republicans in the state legislature in North Carolina. As Tillis explained his perspective, “It comes down to focus on the district, producing results for the district, and in my opinion, Mr. Cawthorn hasn’t demonstrated much in the way of results over the last 18 months.” One of Cawthorn’s scandals that’s seemed to most irk certain Republicans involves the Congressman’s recent claims about being invited to orgies and becoming witness to cocaine use among D.C. Republicans; presumably, that’s what the ad is talking about when it references Cawthorn’s lies about conservatives.

Cawthorn is also under scrutiny for his ties to the January 6 riot at the Capitol. Besides his broader support of lies about the integrity of the 2020 elections, Cawthorn also specifically encouraged listeners at a December 2020 event to “lightly threaten” members of Congress and tell them that “everybody is coming after you.” As he put it: “So, everybody, I’m telling you, I’m encouraging you, please get on the phone, call your congressman. And feel free, you can lightly threaten them, and say, ‘You know what? If you don’t start supporting election integrity, I’m coming after you, Madison Cawthorn is coming after you. Everybody is coming after you.'” No matter his original intention, that could be taken as an encouragement of physical violence. Cawthorn also spoke at the large rally in D.C. that immediately preceded the Capitol breach. More recently, Cawthorn added that “bloodshed” was inevitable if U.S. elections continue to be rigged (which they are not). Although his comments are obviously ridiculous, they point to the mindset held by these people.