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“It’s Going To Lead To One Place … Bloodshed.” What Madison Cawthorn Said To Supporters

Congressman Madison Cawthorn, Republican representing western North Carolina, spoke this week to Macon County Republicans in Franklin. The organizer estimated the crowd at more than 200 people. The Macon County Republican Party posted a 1-hour, 28-minute video on its Facebook page, but removed it after Cawthorn’s remarks attracted nationwide scrutiny. A copy of the video can be found on YouTubehere.

During remarks that were frequently interrupted with applause and cheers from the overwhelmingly white, unmasked crowd, Cawthorn, holding a shotgun he was asked to sign, says the Second Amendment is not for hunting or target shooting but rather for fighting tyranny. He advises the crowd to begin stockpiling ammunition for what he says is likely American-versus-American “bloodshed” over unfavorable election results.

He repeats his claims that the American election system is “rigged” and that the 2020 election was “stolen” from Donald Trump, who, he says, is still America’s legitimate president, and that North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper actually lost, despite defeating Dan Forest by nearly 250,000 votes. He says rioters arrested in the fatal attack on Congress on Jan. 6 are “political prisoners,” and discusses plans to “try and bust them out.” He tells the crowd “we are actively working on” plans for another similar protest in Washington. “When tyranny becomes law, rebellion becomes your duty,” he says. 

Cawthorn calls for civil disobedience and urges boycotts of businesses that require masks or “vaccine passports” to halt the spread of the COVID-19 virus. He vows to prosecute Anthony Fauci “for the crimes that he has done” as head of America’s effort to stop the spread of infectious diseases, and urges parents to “defend your children” against the vaccine.

In the following verbatim transcription of excerpts of Cawthorn’s remarks, Asheville Watchdog makes no attempt to flag, correct, or add missing context to a multitude of false, misleading, and confusing statements made by the 26-year-old freshman Congressman.

In the video, Cawthorn begins speaking at timestamp 35:30.

“It’s sad we have to claim” Asheville

[38:20] When you start looking at what’s going on in our country, when you see the riots that happened all throughout the [makes air quotes] summer of love [air quotes] last year, that left dozens of cops dead, that left cities completely destroyed and burned, even in our own local city of Asheville … you know it’s sad we have to claim it [laughter, applause] … even here in our own city we’ve seen the devastation …

“I will prosecute Anthony Fauci”

[39:43] The days of us being on defense and letting [Democrats] run roughshod over our country are over. We are going on offense, and I promise you, if you all re-elect me and we get a majority in the House of Representatives, I promise you … we’re not going to be sitting around not holding anyone accountable. I will prosecute Anthony Fauci for lying to Congress [cheers, applause] … for the crimes that he has done …

Public schools are “indoctrination camps”

[41.20] [Democrats are] playing to destroy everything we believe in ... They want to take away law and order. They want to take the bulletproof vest off our men who wear the uniform. They want to come in and take your children away and try and put them in indoctrination camps. I don’t even call them public schools anymore because they don’t work in the public interest of the American people.

To Trump: “Sir, what would you do?”

[45:36, speaking about Afghanistan] I called President Trump after I saw Joe Biden say [mocking voice] “Oh this is Donald Trump’s plan,” and I knew he was lying but I needed to verify it for myself … I will say, being able to call President Trump is one of the coolest things in the world. Any time I’m faced with a very difficult issue, I’m like, “Sir, what would you do in this situation?” and then he gives incredible ideas, he knows exactly what to do … When Joe Biden says that we had no idea the Taliban could do this, that is a lie. I have a security clearance that allows me to see the intelligence reports. The Joe Biden administration knew what was going on, they knew that the Taliban would take over in a matter of days, we just spent 20 years, thousands of American lives, and 20 trillion dollars [sic] to replace the Taliban with the Taliban …

Biden in “Clear mental cognitive decline”

[47:42] That is why when I see a president who is in such clear mental cognitive decline that he is incapable of carrying out the duties of the office defending ... our homeland, that is why I have voted to formally request we invoke the 25th amendment to remove the president from office … I know that you’re all sitting here thinking, “It would remove the president. Well, Madison, that’s great but it leaves us with Kamala Harris.” [Woman shouts, “And Obama too.”] That’s actually a great point. [Woman shouts, “And Pelosi too.”] … I’m actually very upset that I said “the Joe Biden administration.” Joe Biden is the front man; he is not making the calls. I promise you that. And I will tell you, now that we’re talking about Kamala Harris, if she were to take over as president, and I’m betting on her own vanity where she says, “Oh well, I’m the least popular vice president in history, there’s no way I’ll be able to run for president after this,” and so I believe I’m counting on her vanity to actually invoke it [the 25th amendment] because that’s the only way she can become president.

“We need to take action now.”

[48:15] We were on a conference call with all the elected Republicans … and they were just talking in circles. “Oh well, what are we going to do to actually get this guy [Biden] out of office in 2024. I said, “2024? We cannot wait! The future of our country depends on we need to take action now ...

“Take them down one at a time”

[49:55] I do believe we should have gone after Hillary Clinton when we had all the power in Washington. I am sick and tired of this liberal privilege of where people can go out and actively do treasonous acts, they can do heinous crimes and break the law, and there are no consequences. That is why I will remove Joe Biden from office, and then, when Kamala Harris inevitably screws up, we will take them down one at a time until we have our country back.

“We know it was a stolen election”

[50:30] And so my friends I’m sure you’re all sitting around wondering, “Well, Madison, this is all great, and I’m sure you’ll be able to impeach Kamala Harris if you have a majority in Congress, but can we actually trust our voting system?” And I’ll tell you, anybody who tells you that Joe Biden was dutifully elected [audience boos], we all saw the fraud, it was on full display in front of us, we know it was a stolen election ...

Believes Forest won N.C. governor race

[51:45] When I see that Donald Trump won this state, I see that [woman shouts, “Dan Forest won too”], yup, and I’m probably the furthest, most conservative person in Congress. I won my seat, we had someone who was a terrible campaigner and a complete RINO [Republican in Name Only], Tillis, win, and then when we start seeing everything going on, all these people won statewide, but then Dan Forest lost? Lemme tell you, that’s wrong right there.

“Hey mom, what was freedom like?”

[53:43] The Democrats have made a fatal mistake. They have pissed off the moms … when I see what’s going on in our public schools, and again,  government schools, when I see what’s going on with our school boards right now, I’m tired of it … and I don’t just want to get up in Washington and pontificate on it, and that is why I’m going to every single school board meeting in all of my counties, and make sure they know exactly what we want from them, and they’re going to be held to account for what they do to our children. Believe me, the next generation is watching our actions right now, and I do not believe that any single person gathered around right now wants to look their child in the eye when they maybe become an adult, and they look at them and say, “Hey mom, hey dad, what was freedom like?” [crowd groans]. We will not let the indoctrination of our youth happen in this country …

“God almighty called me”

[55:10] I deal with these vipers and these vicious people and the attack ads every single day. But I tell you I don’t care what these attack ads on CNN call me, because they did not call me to this position, you all called me, and God almighty called me.

Donald Trump not winning, but winning

[1:02:32] The only good thing that came out of Donald Trump not winning the election, uh, even though he obviously won, um, the only good thing about him not actually being in office is that every single person that left the administration sent an application to my office, and so we got the pick of the litter, and I’m surrounded by a team of my very best friends, people I trust with my absolute life …

“Rebellion becomes your duty”

[1:03:10 Questioner asks, “What are your thoughts about vaccine passports.”] Well, my true thoughts are not appropriate to say when there are ladies in the room, but … when they start instituting vaccine passports, when they start using private industry to do that, we need to not shop at those restaurants, we need to not shop at those stores, we need to decide right now, hey, you know what? I’m going to serve myself at home … If they want us at the local Ingles or Food Lion, or whatever it is, wants to say, “You need a vaccine passport to get in here,” I will call our farmers, I will set up a farmer’s market … Something I firmly believe, when tyranny becomes law, rebellion becomes your duty. If they want to bring these tyrannical rules down upon us … We need a little civil disobedience, and we need to say we’re going to stop you, because I’ll tell you, if you give the government power in an emergency, they will create an emergency to take that power ... I stand against vaccine passports, and I encourage all of you to stand against them also.

“Ethiopian Women’s Studies” etc.

[1.08:40] … So let me tell you, I think most of these four-year degree universities are completely useless, but I tell you, if we keep subsidizing these student loans, they’re creating an entire generation of people who are dependent on the government for their paychecks, and then they have too much debt to ever be able to apply for a mortgage, and then they’ll never actually own any land, and then we have Planned Parenthood being planted in every single community, so we have abortion on demand, and then in our minority communities we are subsidizing fatherless homes, and so these people, they don’t own any land because the students in this country have too much student loans, they don’t, uh, aren’t able to actually make any money because their degree is useless in Ethiopian Women’s Studies [crowd laughter], and then they are encouraged not to have any children with the third wave of feminism, uh, then these people own no land so they don’t care about the financial stability of our country, they don’t have any children so they don’t care about the next generation, let me tell you, that is creating sheep, and that’s what the Democrats are trying to do … 

Masks fail science of Mexican food test

[1:10:50 Questioner asks, “With the situation that we have with the masks and all that …What else do you recommend that we can do to kind of help get this poison off these kids’ faces?”] I totally agree. You know as well as I do that this is anti-science. This disease, I mean, I believe COVID is real, it was created in a lab, [unintelligible] leaked from Wuhan, it’s a real virus, but the particles of this virus are so small they’ll pass right through your mask. I mean when you go to a Mexican restaurant with a mask on your face, and by the way, don’t eat at a Mexican restaurant that will make you wear a mask, I mean just as an analogy when you roll past a fresh plate of fajitas coming out and it’s steaming, you can sit there and smell literally what’s going on, you think the smallest virus in history can’t get through your cloth mask?

Jan. 6 rioters: “political prisoners … bust them out”

[1:14:15 Questioner asks, “What are you doing to support the 535 Americans that were held capture in from January 6?”] Political hostages, make no doubt. ... The big problem is we don’t actually know where all the political prisoners are, and so if we were to actually be able to go and try and bust them out, and let me tell you, the reason why they’ve taken these political prisoners [is] because they’re trying to make an example to say, because they don’t want to see the mass protests going on in Washington ...

“We have a few plans in motion”

[1:15.05 Questioner asks, “When are you going to call us to Washington again?”] We are actively working on that one. I don’t have an answer to that one right yet. Ma’am, we are actively working on this, we have a few plans in motion that I can’t make public right now. Um, but this is something we are working on. There are a lot of Republicans that don’t want to talk about this because they say, “Oh, that’s too controversial.” What’s controversial is, we have 536 people who are being held in solitary confinement for 23 hours out of the day who are not being allowed to be able to have religious freedoms, who are having their rights stripped away from them and not being capable of having someone come represent them, it’s political hostages.

“Defend your children” from “experimental” vaccine

[1:16:00 Questioner asks, When will the government stop “pushing” vaccines on people?] They are going to continue pushing this because they want to beat us down, they want us on our knees so they can do whatever they want. [He urges questioner to ask her pastor for a letter of religious exemption from vaccine requirements for her school-age children.] There are a lot of vaccine injuries that are starting to happen. I’m starting to look at the VAERS database [the government’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System] specifically with this vaccine, the damage it’s causing the people, with infertility, with miscarriages, with uh, the list is a mile long [unintelligible] heart attacks [unintelligible] … defend your children … it’s not worth it to put an experimental jab into your sons’ arms.

“I highly recommend … storing up ammunition”

[1:20:35, Cawthorn, holding shotgun] The second amendment was not written so that we can go hunting or shoot sporting clays. The second amendment was written so that we can fight against tyranny. If you want to see how hypocritical the Democrats are, when they tell you that you cannot have an AR-15 … although I do want to get machine guns re-legalized … you have a normal AR-15, you pull the trigger once, one bullet comes out, and they say, “Oh, you can’t have that because, you know, that’s a weapon of war, it’s too dangerous,” but then they want to give a fully automatic M4s to the Taliban? These people do not have your best interests at heart. I highly recommend that, as much fun as we have target shooting, we all need to be storing up some ammunition.

“It’s going to lead to … bloodshed.”

[1.22.15] But my friends, you know, everything that we’re sitting here talking about, we’re all so passionate right now, the thing that we are wanting to fight for, it doesn’t matter if our votes don’t count. Because, you know, if our election systems continue to be rigged, and continue to be stolen, it’s going to lead to one place, and it’s bloodshed. And I will tell you, as much as I am willing to defend our liberty at all costs, there’s nothing that I would dread doing more than having to pick up arms against a fellow American …

CODA: After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called on House Republicans to condemn Cawthorn's remarks at the Macon County GOP event, Rep. Cawthorn's office issued a press release.

“Speaker Pelosi took advantage of a left-wing media hit job and lied about my words for her gross political agenda," Cawthorn said Wednesday. "She dangerously and deliberately chose to mischaracterize my comments as violent speech when I clearly called for violence not to occur. Political violence in America is never acceptable, and I warned in my comments that elections must be secure so others do not erroneously choose that path of violence."

Asheville Watchdog is a nonprofit news team producing stories that matter to Asheville and Buncombe County. Peter H. Lewis is a former senior writer and editor at The New York Times. He can be reached at plewis@avlwatchog.org

AVL Watchdog publisher Bob Gremillion is a member of the search committee that will choose Blue Ridge Public Radio's next General Manager & CEO.

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