‘Cry more, lib’: Youngest Republican ever elected to Congress celebrates with snarky tweet
Madison Cawthorn, who is a quadriplegic 25-year-old Republican from North Carolina, officially became the youngest Republican ever elected to Congress last night. He celebrated his historic win with a snarky tweet, saying: “Cry more, lib.”
Cry more, lib.
— Madison Cawthorn (@CawthornforNC) November 4, 2020
Cawthorn is a real estate investment CEO who came to prominence in the GOP last June when he won his state’s primary, beating President Trump’s pick for the seat, real estate agent Lynda Bennett, which was vacated by former Rep. Mark Meadows who stepped down to become his White House chief of staff. He won the primary before he reached the constitutionally-mandated age of 25 to serve in the House in August.
Following his win, he said President Trump called from Air Force One to congratulate him. “He congratulated me. He was talking about how amazing of a victory it was. He defined it as beautiful, you know. Just talking about how impressive it was that we were able to overcome just so many large obstacles that we did,” Cawthorn said.
“I believe, you know, the president recognized that we ran a campaign that was very difficult to beat and also that we are someone who can really help ease this partisan divide that’s going on in our country right now and help bring a lot of our voters together,” he said.
He gave a rousing speech at the 2020 Republican National Convention concerning adversity and being part of a guard of young lawmakers remaking the nation. Cawthorn was left paralyzed after a car accident when he was 18. At the RNC he was assisted by two friends as he stood up from his wheelchair and said he would “stand” and be a “radical for liberty.”
Cawthorn added last night after his decisive win: “From the bottom of my heart, Thank you. All glory goes to God and I am excited to serve each and every member of this district. Thank you!”
In a statement, he said: “This election showed that we’re a divided people.”
“Americans are hungry for leadership that appeals to our highest aspirations, and that’s precisely what I intend to do.”
Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is now 31. She was 29 when she was first elected. Cawthorn broke her record and became the youngest person to be elected to Congress in at least 50 years. More notably, he is the youngest Republican ever elected to Congress. The youngest senator is Missouri Republican Josh Hawley, who is 40-years-old.
Chris Cooper, a political scientist at Western Carolina University, said Cawthorn will energize younger people.
“I think he’s able to make a credible case that he’s able to help the Republican Party with a group of voters they’re losing — young people,” Cooper said, adding that the district Cawthorn won is reliably Republican and went for Trump by 57% in 2016. “It’s the youth that appeals to people, and the national attention.”
Cawthorn put Ocasio-Cortez on notice: “The days of AOC and the far left misleading the next generation of Americans are numbered. Tonight, the voters of Western North Carolina chose to stand for freedom and a new generation of leadership in Washington.”
The rising GOP star defeated Democrat and retired U.S. Air Force Col. Moe Davis, 62. Davis said: “The voters have spoken and while I’m disappointed, I respect their decision.”
Cawthorn’s story of surviving a near-fatal accident leaving him paralyzed is well-known in the district. He was returning from a Spring Break trip to Florida in 2014 when his friend fell asleep at the wheel of their SUV and plowed into a concrete road barrier. Cawthorn was flown to a trauma center in Daytona Beach.
“I wake up and I can’t move my legs. All I see is my family around me, looking at me with nothing but pity,” he told the Washington Examiner, adding he realized: “Wow, I’m really messed up, whatever’s going on.”
At the time he said he had been about to attend the U.S. Naval Academy with a full scholarship.
Instead, Cawthorn has gone on to make political history.