NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
FIRST ON FOX: Several of Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s, R-N.C., fellow House Republicans shared their reactions to Cawthorn’s primary loss with Fox News Digital, with some lawmakers expressing relief that the freshman congressman won’t return to Congress next session.
Cawthorn, the youngest member of Congress, fell to Republican state Sen. Chuck Edwards in Tuesday’s primary following a string of missteps through his first term that made him a lightning rod for controversy.
Several Republican lawmakers, who requested anonymity in order to speak candidly about a colleague, opined on Cawthorn’s loss to Fox News Digital.
Rep. Madison Cawthorn speaks before former President Donald Trump takes the stage at a rally, April 9, 2022, in Selma, North Carolina. (AP Photo/Chris Seward, File)
One anonymous lawmaker said Cawthorn “earned his loss” and that the congressman “did it to himself.”
“Hopefully he learns from his mistakes,” the lawmaker said.
Another said the “constituents of NC-11 have spoken” through the election and that the lawmaker was “impressed by Cawthorn’s gracious concession” and wished “him all the best moving forward.”
“Republicans will stand united to defeat the radical Socialist Democrats this November,” the lawmaker added.
North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn lost to his primary challenger in a race that saw other Republicans side against Cawthorn. (Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Some reactions had more teeth to them.
“Congressman Cawthorn’s actions were an embarrassment to the institution of Congress,” one House Republican told Fox News Digital.
Another GOP lawmaker called on his party to “unify” and “show the American people there’s an alternative to Democrats’ record inflation, soaring crime, open border, and self-inflicted incompetence,” but said that Republicans are “better off” with Cawthorn gone.
“Midterms are coming, and Cawthorn wasn’t helping us move forward,” the lawmaker said. “I hope he’ll find peace in his next endeavor, but we’re better off.”
A spokesman for Cawthorn told Fox News Digital that “Congressman Cawthorn and his team are dedicated to completing the 117th Congress strong and serving the constituents of NC-11 until his very last day in office.”
North Carolina GOP State Sen. Chuck Edwards challenged Rep. Madison Cawthorn.
“In time, we will announce the congressman’s next steps,” the spokesman continued. “We truly believe that the best is yet to come.”
Cawthorn made a similar statement on Twitter Thursday.
“We’re focused on unifying the GOP in North Carolina and in Washington,” the spokesman said in response to the anonymous comments.
A highly visible member, Cawthorn was considered a rising star in the GOP when he took office before a string of controversies cost him his standing among more senior Republican like Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C. A super PAC affiliated with Tillis spent hundreds of thousands of dollars against Cawthorn during the primary.
One of Cawthorn’s most notable controversies that garnered him ire among his party was the young congressman claiming on a podcast that he had been invited to orgies by political elites in the nation’s capital.
Additionally, leaks of controversial photos and videos of the Republican congressman made their rounds online and on-air amid his primary race, which Cawthorn called a “drip drip campaign” that was “blackmail.”
Cawthorn also did not see much public support from his fellow North Carolina lawmakers amid his primary challenge, either.
The GOP congressman secured the endorsement of former President Trump, who called on voters to give the freshman a “second chance” after his “foolish mistakes.”
However, Trump’s endorsement was not enough to get Cawthorn over the finish line, with the congressman conceding the race Tuesday night to Edwards.