Trump backing Cawthorn despite lawmaker’s ‘foolish mistakes’
Former President Trump is doubling down on his support for embattled Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) ahead of a Tuesday primary contest that will determine whether the 26-year-old congressman will get a chance at a second term in the House.
“When Madison was first elected to Congress, he did a great job,” Trump said in a post on Truth Social, the social media platform that he founded last year. “Recently, he made some foolish mistakes, which I don’t believe he’ll make again…let’s give Madison a second chance!”
Trump endorsed Cawthorn for reelection last year. But his latest show of support comes as Cawthorn is facing a fight for political life following a series of controversies that have fueled GOP criticism of the first-term congressman.
Several Republicans jumped into the primary in Cawthorn’s district after he decided to run in another district closer to Charlotte following the redistricting process. He returned to his old district, however, after state courts struck down North Carolina’s new congressional map.
Since then, things have gotten more complicated for him. Cawthorn enraged many of his fellow Republicans earlier this year when he suggested in a podcast interview that fellow GOP lawmakers were participating in orgies and doing cocaine. He’s also suffered from a series of salacious revelations, including a leaked nude video.
Trump’s late effort to remind voters of his support for the far-right congressman, however, could give Cawthorn a boost and help him avoid a lackluster performance on Tuesday.
He will need to win at least 30 percent of the vote to advance to the general election as the Republican nominee in North Carolina’s 11th District.
Still, Cawthorn is facing opposition from several high-profile Republicans in the state. The top Republicans in the state General Assembly have endorsed one of his rivals, state Sen. Chuck Edwards, as has Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.).
Meanwhile, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who’s retiring at the end of his current term, has criticized Cawthorn, calling him an “embarrassment” during a March appearance on CNN.
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