Republican Congressman Madison Cawthorn is facing an avalanche of backlash from North Carolinians after supporters and constituents saw his role in inciting insurrectionists to storm the Capitol, leading to the five deaths and several injured police officers.
Blue Ridge Public Radio reported Monday that Henderson County Sheriff George Erwin Jr. is pulling his support from newly-elected Republican Congressman Madison Cawthorn. After seeing Cawthorn’s speech at the “Stop the Steal” rally in which he spouted conspiracy theories about the integrity of the election and emboldened the crowd to “fight” for their cause, Erwin said: “Once a word leaves your mouth you can’t take it back in. And you can either incite or you can calm with the words you use. And I have seen no calming words.”
Cawthorn is not only losing one of his biggest supports in Erwin, others are going further:
- Guest columnist Jasmine Beach-Ferrara in the Asheville Citizen Times called on Cawthorn to resign: “It’s time for Congressman Cawthorn to resign. If he does not resign, he should be removed from office because he has violated his oath of office.”
- A viral Change.org petition calling for his resignation was the fastest-growing petition over the weekend, according to a spokeswoman.
- Cawthorn’s conservative constituents have also seen enough. Buncombe County’s Eddie Harwood wrote: [M]y worst fears about his immaturity and willingness to pander to the worst instincts of the right-wing fringe were realized.”
Cawthorn previously called on constituents to “lightly threaten” Members of Congress at a Turning Points USA Conference in December: “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’s coming after you.”
Still, Cawthorn does not take responsibility for his actions and yesterday said “[t]he party as a whole should’ve been more wise about their choice of words,” without acknowledging his own role in the violent attacks at the Capitol.