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Madison Cawthorn speaks about disability in convention speech: 'I know something about adversity'

Madison Cawthorn speaks about disability in convention speech: 'I know something about adversity'
© Hill.TV

Congressional candidate Madison Cawthorn at the Republican National Convention (RNC) Wednesday night recounted his experience after a car accident cost him the use of his legs, comparing the adversity he faced to that of the U.S.

“I know something about adversity,” Cawthorn said, describing how he was given a “one percent chance of survival [but] thanks to the power of prayer, a very loving community and many skilled doctors, I made it.”

The candidate described feeling “invisible” attending a baseball game for the first time as a wheelchair user, but added “my accident has given me new eyes to see and new ears to hear.”

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“I say to people who feel forgotten, ignored and invisible: I see you, I hear you,” he said.

“In 2020 our country has a choice: we can give up on the American idea or we can choose to work together to make our imperfect union more perfect,” he continued.

Cawthorn, if elected in North Carolina’s largely Republican 11th district, will be the youngest-ever member of Congress, something he noted in his remarks, saying “if you don’t think young people can change the world than you just don’t know American history.”

He pointed to the accomplishments of figures like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and James Madison in their twenties, adding “In times of peril young people have stepped up and saved this country abroad and at home. We held the line, scaled the cliffs, crossed oceans, liberated camps and cracked codes.”

The candidate condemned “information without wisdom and tribalism without truth” and what he called “emotion-based voting and a radicalized identity politics that rejects Martin Luther King’s dream.”

As he ended his speech, Cawthorn rose from his wheelchair, using a walker for support.

“Be a radical for freedom, be a radical for liberty and be a radical for our republic, for which I stand, one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all,” he concluded.