“It was focused extra at this type of cancel tradition and actually the extremes on each ends,” he advised CNN in an interview earlier than Christmas. Requested if he needs he might take the comment again, he replied: “Oh, completely.”
The 25-year-old conservative Republican will symbolize North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District. Cawthorn has been a lightning rod for criticism since vaulting into the political highlight in an upset GOP main win earlier this 12 months when he defeated the candidate that President Donald Trump and White Home chief of workers Mark Meadows had backed for Meadows’ open seat. Cawthorn has confronted scrutiny all year long together with for accusations of sexual misconduct, his post-Election tweet and his Instagram caption about Adolf Hitler’s trip house.
‘My spine is strengthened with bi-titanium’
The incoming congressman additionally seems to be unbothered by any potential coverage variations he has with different lawmakers. Cawthorn, who was partially paralyzed in a 2014 automotive accident and makes use of a wheelchair, cited his restoration from that occasion as a metaphor for his political resolve.
“I am glad my spine is strengthened with bi-titanium, as a result of they are going to attempt to bend me and break me rather a lot,” he mentioned of fellow politicians — together with from his personal celebration — making an attempt to affect him a method or one other.
The transfer will not change the end result of the election, however it might additional delay the inevitable affirmation of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over Trump.
And whereas Cawthorn forged doubt on the document variety of well-liked votes Biden obtained, he advised CNN that he appears to be like ahead to working with the President-elect, saying he thinks “we are able to modernize our nation collectively.”
Previous controversies loom
His Democratic opponent seized on the publish, and Cawthorn later denounced White supremacy as he got here beneath fireplace for the publish. He advised CNN he made a mistake through the use of the the time period “the führer.”
“I used to be unaware that utilizing a sure time period describing an evil man — Hitler — was offensive to folks within the Jewish neighborhood. And if that did offend them, that’s one thing I by no means meant to do,” he mentioned.
Cawthorn advised CNN his posts have been mischaracterized and instantly denied that he’s a White supremacist.
“I would like folks to know, I am positively not a Nazi. I am not a White supremacist,” he mentioned. He added, “I hate White supremacy, I hate racism.”
No less than two ladies have additionally alleged that he had forcibly kissed or touched them years in the past, claims he has beforehand denied. He advised CNN he regretted actions he took and apologized to anyone he “made really feel uncomfortable.”
“Wanting again, I want I might have modified my actions. If I made someone really feel uncomfortable in a scenario, that’s by no means my purpose,” he advised CNN.
“You understand, I need to stay in a world the place if I’ve a daughter, persons are gonna ask permission earlier than they’re gonna try to contact her or making an attempt to kiss her proper. But additionally, I need to stay in a world the place no, my son, if he tries to kiss a woman, he is not going to be labeled as some sort of sexual predator.”
The brand new youngest member of Congress
Cawthorn says he’ll give attention to points affecting younger folks. Amongst them are entry to broadband, opioid dependancy and even the surroundings, one thing Republicans have historically been reluctant to deal with.
“I consider that as a Republican you possibly can love God, love weapons and hate greenhouse gases,” Cawthorn mentioned.
Whereas from reverse sides of the political spectrum, Cawthorn’s forthcoming superlative because the youngest member of the brand new Congress inevitably attracts comparisons to Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, at present the youngest US consultant.
Cawthorn mentioned he disagrees with Ocasio-Cortez’s progressive insurance policies however credited her, saying he was impressed by her to run for Congress.
“She did set an instance that you would be able to get entangled as a teenager in your twenties to make a distinction in your nation,” he mentioned. “That is one thing that’s inspiring and will encourage all People throughout the board, no matter political affiliation.”
He additionally says he hopes extra younger Republicans observe him to Congress.
“I do really feel immense strain to symbolize Gen Z Republicans who’re coming,” he mentioned. “I do need reinforcements to come back behind me. I do not care how outdated you’re, however I might like to be surrounded by extra younger Republicans.”
CNN’s Dianne Gallagher, Lauren Dezenski and Kate Sullivan contributed to this report.