Madison Cawthorn Takes Aim at GOP Leaders in Trump Rally Speech

Madison Cawthorn criticized Republican leaders for "weakening, cheapening our platform" and chasing "non-existent middle-ground voters," during his speech at a Donald Trump rally in North Carolina on Saturday.

The Republican representative, from the southeastern state, told the crowd in Selma: "We have so many in the national party of our country that believe the key to saving our nation is weakening, cheapening our platform and going after these non-existent middle-ground voters."

Trump-endorsed Cawthorn has come under fire within the GOP in recent weeks after he claimed without evidence that some colleagues in D.C. had asked him to "come to an orgy" and that he had witnessed others "do a key bump of cocaine."

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy rebuked the 26-year-old youngest member of Congress over the claims last Wednesday.

"This is unacceptable. There's no evidence to this," McCarthy told reporters of the meeting. "That's not becoming of a congressman. He did not tell the truth."

Following backlash to his remarks, Cawthorn said the left had twisted his words in a bid to divide the Republican Party.

Cawthorn said in a statement earlier this month: "My comments on a recent podcast appearance calling out corruption have been used by the left and the media to disparage my Republican colleagues and falsely insinuate their involvement in illicit activities."

Madison Cawthorn at the North Carolina rally
Madison Cawthorn speaks before a rally for former U.S. President Donald Trump at The Farm at 95 on April 9, 2022 in Selma, North Carolina. Madison Cawthorn hit out at the Republican leadership. Getty

In his speech on Saturday, Cawthorn said the party should focus on "dining room politics," namely being against illegal immigration, foreign wars and being in favor of well-funded police forces.

"My friends, there is no middle ground with Marxists," he added. "The key to saving our nation is not going after these voters that don't exist but it's going after the disenfranchised men and women in our country.

"The people who don't even bother to vote because it's been proven time and time again that the government will never work on their behalf."

At one point Cawthorn, who uses a wheelchair after being injured in a car crash, stood in front of the large crowd with the help of his two aides.

"This country can change very quickly and it may seem impossible. People tell me it's impossible," he said. "Well, my friends, God spared my life. He has given me the strength to stand before you. So do not lecture me on what is impossible."

Cawthorn has pushed himself out of his wheelchair to stand during speeches at previous rallies.

Newsweek has contacted Cawthorn and McCarthy for comment.

Republicans look set to make huge gains in November, according to several recent polls.

Democrats hold the House by a narrow margin and the Senate is evenly split, meaning even a flip of a few seats in each chamber would end Democratic control in Congress.