A 28-second video that shows a young man naked on top of another man in bed amid screams and laughter has become the latest in a series of episodes that have turned Republicans against one member of their own party: Madison Cawthorn, congressman for Carolina. From north.
The group that shared the recording said the naked young man is Cawthorn, who has not disputed the claim. The 26-year-old politician, who presents himself as a defender of Christian values and, as Politico described it, highlights the importance of hypermasculinity, criticized the release of the video, which he called “attack” and “blackmail”. He added that the record shows him playing with a friend years ago.
The revelation adds to other cases that have led prominent Republicans, such as Kevin McCarthy, the party’s leader in the House, to break with Cawthorn. He has claimed without naming names or showing evidence that he was invited “by leaders I respect” to a cocaine orgy, was caught twice trying to get on a plane with a gun and called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a thief.
“It’s not just any thing. It’s everything,” Senator Tom Tillis of North Carolina, who is actively working against Cawthorn ahead of the May 17 primaries, in which he will run in the May 17 primaries, told Reuters news agency. midterm elections with Senator Chuck Edwards.
In 2020, Cawthorn defeated a Republican supported by Donald Trump. The youngest member of Congress, he adopted the former president’s aggressive style, earning his endorsement for this year’s re-election bid. But a poll by a Republican electoral fund showed his lead in the primaries fell from 49% in March to 38% at the end of April, while support for Edwards rose from 14% to 21%. The poll has a 4.9 percentage point margin of error.
The American Muckrakers political committee, opposed to Cawthorn, was responsible for publishing the video, on the website FireMadison.com. In addition to the two people, the scene includes a wheelchair, which the deputy uses because he was in a car accident. Tillis described the recording as “absurd and embarrassing”.
On Twitter, the Republican responded. “A new attack on me has just surfaced. Years ago in this video I was being rude to a friend, trying to be funny. We were acting silly and joking. That’s it,” he wrote on the social network. “I won’t back down. I told you there would be a campaign with attacks bit by bit. Blackmail won’t win. We’ll win.”
Cawthorn could be forced to run in a runoff in June if he fails to win more than 30% of the primary vote — polls showed 31% of voters held him very favorably last month. Jim David, a former senator who ran against the congressman in 2020 and ended up voting for the congressman in the second round, said that “many Republicans see him as an embarrassment because of the things he says and the things he does.” “I’m one of them.”
Analysts and strategists say, however, there is a chance that the attacks will hit Cawthorn’s own opponents, as they also provoke support for him, a populist who opposes the Republican establishment. A part of the party’s electorate has embraced the combative style of extreme personalities like Trump, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who would be a kind of antidote to what they see as the progressive excesses of the Democrats.
“It’s going to be a very close election,” said Republican analyst Glen Bolger, whose company, Public Opinion Strategies, also conducted two polls for the Edwards campaign. “It is possible that he will survive the wounds he inflicted. But he has put himself in grave political danger.”