GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn said he missed 15 House votes because he was fulfilling his ‘service as a husband’

madison cawthorn
Rep. Madison Cawthorn.

  • Rep. Madison Cawthorn said he missed votes to fulfill his “service as a husband” on his honeymoon.
  • An analysis from Quorum showed Cawthorn has missed the most votes of any freshman lawmaker.
  • Cawthorn told Real America’s Voice News that all the votes he missed were on “Democrat garbage.”
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GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn said his “service as a husband” kept him from over a dozen congressional votes in April, and described all the missed votes as “Democrat garbage” during an interview on the conservative program, Real America’s Voice News.

Data collected by legislative analysis firm Quorum and reported on by Axios found that Cawthorn has missed the highest percentage of votes – 16.2% – of any freshman House member during the 117th Congress. The top five freshmen to miss the most votes are all Republicans.

“To that, I really laugh. It shows how the Democrats feel about the nuclear family in America right now. I was doing the only thing that I find more important than my service in Congress, and that’s my service as a husband,” Cawthorn told host David Brody when asked about Axios’ reporting on his missed votes.

Cawthorn explained that “they had the votes pile up” the week he was away for his honeymoon after marrying his wife Cristina Bayardelle in his home state of North Carolina in early April, resulting in him missing out on 15 votes.

“Every single vote that came up was some Democrat garbage, so I was happy to be able to not actually have to vote on those,” Cawthorn said. “They’re eliminating our voices, they’re not allowing us to debate on the House floor, and I’m telling you, if I had to choose between voting with Nancy Pelosi or spending time with my beautiful wife, I’ll choose Cristina every time.”

Cawthorn also did not designate an another lawmaker to enter votes on his behalf while he was on his honeymoon. Under special COVID-19 procedures, House members can vote by proxy via a colleague

Read more: A multitude of Trump-era mysteries are poised to come roaring back into the headlines. Everyone involved is bracing for what happens after that.

Cawthorn’s spokesperson Micah Bock previously told Axios that the congressman “married the love of his life on April 3rd of 2021. Due to his honeymoon, he missed House votes occurring between April 13th and April 16th.”

Cawthorn, 25, was elected to Congress from North Carolina’s 11th District in 2020 to replace Mark Meadows, who left Congress to serve as former President Donald Trump’s chief of staff. As the youngest person elected to Congress in two centuries, Cawthorn has positioned himself as a voice for young conservatives.

Early in his tenure in Congress, Cawthorn wrote in an email to his colleagues that he built his “staff around comms rather than legislation,” TIME Magazine reported in January.

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Republicans are touting benefits of $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill despite voting against it

Madison Cawthorn
Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-North Carolina) speaks on the House floor.

  • Republicans are touting benefits of the COVID-19 relief legislation they opposed in Congress.
  • Mitch McConnell said Republicans would have a “talk” with Americans about the bill’s issues.
  • Meanwhile, funding for healthcare and restaurants is being praised by some GOP members.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

For months, Congressional Republicans have been unanimously opposed to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that was backed by President Joe Biden and signed into law in March.

The stimulus package, which included $1,400 direct stimulus payments for individuals, funding for state and local governments, $300 in federal unemployment aid through September, and an expansion of the child tax credit, among other measures, did not receive a single GOP vote of support in the House or Senate.

After the bill’s passage, GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky slammed the legislation as “a classic example of big-government Democratic overreach in the name of Covid relief” and “one of the worst pieces of legislation” he’s seen in his 36 years in the Senate.

He also said the GOP would “talk repeatedly” to the American public about the true contents of the bill in the coming months.

However, some Republicans are now touting popular elements of the bill they railed against on Capitol Hill.

Conservative freshman GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina pointed to health funding in his district in a tweet last week, including nearly $2.5 million for the Appalachian Mountain Community Health Centers and $4.6 million for Western North Carolina Community Health Services that was part of the legislation.

“Happy to announce that NC-11 was awarded grants from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services,” he wrote. “Proud to see tax-payer dollars returned to NC-11.”

Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison took note of Hawthorn’s tweet and blasted the congressman and the GOP.

“Come’on man,” he wrote. “@RepCawthorn is trying to take credit for the grants HE VOTED AGAINST. Republicans have no shame.”

Read more: Here are 9 hurdles Biden’s infrastructure plan would have to overcome in Congress before it can become law

Cawthorn spokesman Micah Bock told NBC News in a statement last week that the congressman uses his social media account “to post information relevant to his constituents in NC-11.”

“Oftentimes this means providing relevant federal information on proposals that the congressman does not support,” he said. “There are portions of the American Rescue Plan that benefit NC-11, however, bills are not passed in portions, they are passed entirely or not at all, and this bill does significantly more harm than good.”

GOP Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi praised the billions in targeted funding for the restaurant industry that he championed – it was part the final package that he voted against.

“Independent restaurant operators have won $28.6 billion worth of targeted relief,” he tweeted after the bill passed. “This funding will ensure small businesses can survive the pandemic by helping to adapt their operations and keep their employees on the payroll.”

When asked by CNN’s Manu Raju why he didn’t support the full measure, Wicker said he didn’t have to accept the full measure and was critical of the questioning.

“Just because there’s one good provision in a $1.9 trillion bill, doesn’t mean I have to vote for it … I think it’s a stupid question. I’m not going to vote for $1.9 trillion just because it has a couple of good provisions in it.”

Congressional Republicans have currently found themselves boxed into a corner on the issue.

A Pew Research poll released shortly before the bill’s signing showed 70% of US adults backing the legislation, with only 28% of respondents opposed to the measure.

Even 41% of Republican or Republican-leaning respondents, a significant minority, backed the COVID-19 relief bill.

National GOP leaders have pledged to use the bill as a campaign attack against Democrats in the 2022 midterm elections, but nearly three dozen Republican mayors across the county, from David Holt of Oklahoma City to John Giles of Mesa, backed the legislation.

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Students from Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s college said he used ‘fun drives’ to corner women with sexual advances, report says

Madison Cawthorne
Rep. Madison Cawthorne (R-North Carolina).

  • Former classmates of Rep. Madison Cawthorn told BuzzFeed news he harassed women at their college.
  • Two RAs said they warned women residing in their dorms not to go on drives with Cawthorn.
  • Cawthorn previously said that he has “never done anything sexually inappropriate in my life.”
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s former classmates said he would use his car to corner women with sexual advances in off-campus drives, according to a BuzzFeed News investigation.

Students said that Cawthorn, a 25-year-old Republican from North Carolina, was known for this behavior while at Patrick Henry College, a small Christian school in Virginia that the lawmaker briefly attended in the fall of 2016.

Two resident assistants said they would warn women in their dorm not to go for rides with Cawthorn in his white Dodge Challenger. Cawthorn reportedly referred to these rides as “fun drives.”

“I got info from other RAs to warn the female student body not to go on joy rides with him because bad things happened on those joy rides,” Giovanna Lastra, one of the former RAs, told BuzzFeed.

One woman, Caitlin Coulter, recalled going on a drive with Cawthorn in which he asked invasive questions about the purity ring she was wearing. After 20 minutes of refusing to answer his questions, his demeanor changed and he drove dangerously back to campus.

Others told BuzzFeed that Cawthorn was frequently aggressive or misogynistic and that he called one woman a “little blonde slutty American girl” in front of a table of her peers. He also allegedly asked other men about which “race of girls gives the best blowjobs.”

BuzzFeed’s investigation comes after other allegations were made before the freshman representative was elected in November of last year.

In August of 2020, World Magazine reported that one woman, Katrina Krulikas, said Cawthorn had forcibly kissed her in 2014, when Cawthorn was 19 and she was 17. 

On a drive, Cawthorn asked Krulikas questions about whether or not she had sex before pressuring her to sit on his lap. He attempted to kiss her but she turned away. Cawthorn then tried again, holding her face, causing her to struggle to jump out of his lap.

During a campaign event in September 2020, Cawthorn denied the report, saying “I have never done anything sexually inappropriate in my life,” the Citizen Times reported.

However, Cawthorn apparently apologized to Krulikas in a text from February 2020 after a friend of hers mentioned the incident in response to one of his campaign texts. “I can see in hindsight how that was over the line and I am sorry,” he wrote.

Cawthorn has also come under scrutiny for questionable claims he has made about his past, including that he was training for the Paralympic Games and that the accident that put him in a wheelchair was the reason he could not atttend the Naval Academy.

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Rep. Madison Cawthorn, who sought to overturn Biden’s win, admits that the election ‘was not fraudulent’ on CNN

Brown Cawthorn
CNN’s Pamela Brown, left, interviews Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina.

  • GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s longstanding claims of voter fraud collapsed on Saturday.
  • Cawthorn maintained that he contested the election “to hold up the Constitution.”
  • When pressed by CNN’s Pamela Brown to cite specific cases of fraud, Cawthorn was unable to do so.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina came into office pledging to contest President Joe Biden’s electoral win.

Throughout the evening of the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riots, Cawthorn continued to challenge the election results for both Arizona and Pennsylvania, emphasizing his focus on election integrity and the Constitution.

However, during a Saturday interview with CNN’s Pamela Brown, his argument for contesting the results fell apart.

When Cawthorn was asked by Brown for evidence supporting claims of voter fraud, he was unable to cite any specific cases.

“The things that I was not objecting to the election on behalf of was things like Dominion voting machines changing ballots, or these U-Haul trucks pulling up filled with ballots for Joe Biden as president,” he said.

“The thing I was objecting for is things like, like I said in the state of Wisconsin, particularly in the town of Madison … there was an appointed official in that town who actually went against the will of the state legislature and created ballot drop boxes, which is basically ballot harvesting that was happening in the parks,” he continued.

 

Brown reminded the 25-year-old freshman congressman that then-President Donald Trump’s campaign litigated several Wisconsin ballot issues and lost in court

When Brown asked if Cawthorn had seen any specific cases of fraud, he could not come up with an answer.

“So you wanted to throw out millions of votes without actually seeing any concrete evidence of fraud?” Brown asked. “That’s what you were doing when you were contesting the election.”

Cawthorn then said that he contested the election “to hold up the Constitution.”

After Brown told Cawthorn that his own state changed election laws in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which was a core part of his earlier argument, he said he was unaware that North Carolina changed any laws.

Read more: Trump tested the Constitution and shredded traditions. Biden and the Democrats have big plans of their own about what to do next.

“I’m actually not aware of the laws that were changed inside of North Carolina,” he said. “I believe we had a very safe and very secure election here.”

Trump won North Carolina last November.

Biden won Arizona and Pennsylvania – states where Cawthorn fought the vote certification. He was unable to formally challenge Wisconsin’s results because no senator stepped up to contest the results for the state, which Biden won.

By the end of the interview, Cawthorn’s earlier claims of fraud disappeared into thin air.

“Yes, I think I would say the election was not fraudulent,” he admitted to Brown.

He added: “The Constitution allowed for us to be able to push back as much as we could and I did that to the amount of the constitutional limits that I had at my disposal, so now I would say that Joseph R. Biden is our president.”

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Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn told a Turning Point USA crowd last month to ‘lightly threaten’ lawmakers if they didn’t support claims of voter fraud

Newly elected U.S. Rep Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) speaks as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather by the White House ahead of Trump's speech to contest the certification by the U.S. Congress of the results of the 2020 presidential election in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021.
Newly elected U.S. Rep Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) speaks as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather by the White House ahead of Trump’s speech to contest the certification by the U.S. Congress of the results of the 2020 presidential election in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021.

Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn told a crowd at a Turning Point USA event last month to “lightly threaten” lawmakers if they didn’t support claims of voter fraud made against the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election.

The lawmaker from North Carolina made the comments on December 21, a little over three weeks before rioters who supported President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol as lawmakers debated the Electoral College vote and President-elect Joe Biden’s 2020 election win.

“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,” Cawthorn had said at the event, which was first flagged by The Charlotte Observer.

Weeks later during the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington DC that descended into the riot at the Capitol in which five people died, Cawthorn spoke about an hour before Trump and told the crowd it has “some fight in it.”

“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 said. “But my friends, when I look out into this crowd, I can confidently say, this crowd has the voice of lions. There is a new Republican Party on the rise that will represent this country, that will go and fight in Washington, DC.”

He also called his colleagues “cowards” during the speech.

Cawthorn later denounced the violence at the Capitol as it was happening on January 6, asking rioters to protest peacefully, and “let the objections continue in accordance with the constitution.”

On January 7,  he said the riot “wasn’t patriotism it was thuggery.”

He told Raleigh’s ABC11 he believed Trump had some responsibility for the riot. 

“I think when the president said we’re going to march down to the Capitol and I’m going to march with you, that was a major mistake,” he said. “He never should’ve directed that crowd toward the Capitol. The bad outcome was destined at that point.”

Cawthorn did still, however, vote against Biden winning the Electoral vote.

He’s also still selling “Cry More, Lib” T-shirts on his website, in reference to a tweet he made after winning the general election in November.

A group of Democratic officials in North Carolina have criticized Cawthorn’s actions, saying he should be expelled from Congress. 

They wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week asking Cawthorn to be “held accountable for his seditious behavior and for the consequences resulting from said behavior.”

Cawthorn did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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