The embattled congressman has outraged Republican colleagues with accusations of orgies and drug use.
Photographs obtained by POLITICO appear to show Madison Cawthorn, the embattled Republican congressman from North Carolina who recently accused his GOP colleagues of inviting him to orgies, wearing lingerie in what appears to be a party setting.
Cawthorn, 26, was raised in a conservative Baptist community in Henderson County, North Carolina, and has staked his political persona on arch-traditional Christian principles and the insistence of the importance of a kind of hypermasculinity. His comments about “the sexual perversion” in Washington made on a podcast, which he later admitted were exaggerated, drew the public disapproval and disavowal of Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy as well as other Republican leaders including those in his North Carolina congressional caucus.
The revelation of the two photos is the latest in a series of unflattering headlines for the freshman member of Congress in the run-up to the primary in his first re-election bid. The primary in North Carolina is May 17. Cawthorn has seven Republican opponents who see him as vulnerable.
Cawthorn, who was paralyzed from the waist down as a passenger in a car accident in Florida in 2014, in recent months has called Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy a “thug,” suggested teetotaling Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has a drinking problem, and racked up a collection of traffic transgressions including speeding, driving with expired tags and driving with a revoked license. He has court dates in May and June.
Cawthorn spokesman Luke Ball did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
“I was raised on Proverbs and pushups,” Cawthorn said in a podcast in September 2020.
“I subscribe to Judeo-Christian beliefs,” he continued. “I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I think if you think about my political ideology, where it really stems from, you know, my ethics and my morals and what I think is right and wrong, you look to ancient Jerusalem, you got ancient Judeo-Christian values. So right and wrong,” he continued. “I also cling to a lot of traditional values and a lot of traditional ideas, because they’ve worked in the past.”
“I think that we have bred a generation of soft men and that generation has created a lot of problems in our society and our culture,” he said in March 2021 on a podcast “designed to reclaim and restore masculinity in a society that is ever more dismissive of what it means to be a man.”
“There’s only one God and two genders,” he said in a tweet earlier this week.