At the tender age of 25 and barely one month into his first term, Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) already is honing his skills in the art of Congressional doublespeak. On Jan. 6, barely two hours before the Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol, Cawthorn was on stage at the “Stop the Steal” rally, exhorting the crowd to action.
“This crowd has some fight in it,” he said. “The Democrats, with all the fraud they have done in this election, the Republicans hiding and not fighting, they are trying to silence your voice. Make no mistake about it, they do not want you to be heard.” He had projected a similar tone in a tweet the day before the deadly attempted insurrection, writing, “I look forward to seeing millions of patriotic Americans stand for their country.”
The fate of a nation comes down to the events of tomorrow. This New Republican Party will not back down.
I look forward to seeing millions of patriotic Americans stand for their country. pic.twitter.com/1ADeeE9ji4
— Madison Cawthorn (@CawthornforNC) January 5, 2021
In the weeks since the riot Cawthorn has attempted walk the tightrope of condemning the violence at the Capitol while not completely walking away from the words he said that contributed to it. In an interview with Carlos Watson for his YouTube program, “The Carlos Watson Show,” Cawthorn said of his Jan. 6 speech, “I don’t regret it, actually. Obviously I think what happened Jan. 6 was despicable. I thought it was conducted by weak-minded men and women who are unable to check their worst impulses and had very little self-control.”
Cawthorn’s version of “remorse light” isn’t going over well. A group of North Carolina Democrats sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) calling for the freshman representative to be investigated for his role in riling up protestors at the Jan. 6 rally. And the government watchdog group Campaign for Accountability has filed an ethics complaint against Cawthorn. That group’s executive director said, “If the people Rep. Cawthorn encouraged to illegally enter the Capitol can be prosecuted for carrying a firearm, so can the congressman. Moreover, no elected official should ever use their platform to instigate the subversion of our democratic process.”