As of press time early Wednesday morning at 2am the night seems like a good one for Trump. His endorsed GOP candidates won in the PA gubernatorial primary and in the NC Senate primary, among other races. The GOP PA Senate primary is too close to call, but Oz could pull it out and give Trump a win. The former president could lose the big GA gubernatorial primary/grudge match next week. So this night is a welcome prior engagement.
But one race, a highly watched and hard fought contest, pitted a MAGA star against conservative Republican candidates. It was an NC House primary race and MAGA and Trump endorsed incumbent Madison Cawthorn got clobbered so bad almost 70 percent of Republicans voted against him.
Now Cawthorn was no boring bland Republican. In the one term he served he managed to put on a political freak show that included charges of orgies, cross dressing, and drug fueled bachannals. This did not exactly endear him to House leadership. They paid Cawthorn back on Tuesday night for the embarrassment he caused the GOP.
He was beat by NC GOP State Senator Chuck Edwards, a conservative running against Cawthorn’s populist minions. “This is simply incredible,” Edwards said Tuesday night in declaring his win over Cawthorn. “Against all odds, we fought hard to win this election and provide clear conservative leadership for the mountains.” Asked why he thought Cawthorn crashdived he commented, “I believe that he may have gotten lost in the political stardom and forgot what his role was back here at home.”
Trump tried to save Cawthorn. “Recently, he made some foolish mistakes, which I don’t believe he’ll make again,” Trump said this week. “Let’s give Madison a second chance!” But voters roundly rejected the MAGA icon and Trump’s endorsement.
Cawthorn himself explained his fight with party conservatives this way. “The biggest thing is probably just the coordinated strike that’s really been carried out by members of my own party. I believe that there’s a war going on between which version of conservatism and Republicanism is going to move forward.” He’s right that sane Republican Party operatives sunk him. He’s wrong to classify himself as a conservative. He’s a populist, as is the 45th president. That’s quite different from conservatism.
Why did conservatives do him in? FNC: “He faced sexual misconduct allegations, which he denied. He was twice stopped by airport security for trying to bring a loaded gun on a plane. In March, he was cited by North Carolina troopers for driving with a revoked license. That’s on top of two previous traffic violations for speeding at 87 and 89 mph. In March, Cawthorn drew widespread rebuke from his colleagues, including GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, for claiming in a podcast interview he had been invited to ‘an orgy’ in Washington, had been sexually solicited, and had seen leaders use cocaine. Cawthorn later said he wasn’t talking specifically about his fellow GOP lawmakers. ‘He’s lost my trust,’ McCarthy said in response to the controversy. In April, Politico published pictures of Cawthorn partying in lingerie. Then, the Daily Mail posted photos of Cawthorn’s close aide and scheduler grabbing his crotch.” Yup, this guy was a political train wreck and deserved to go. MAGA types should be glad he’s gone. After all, his loss spoiled a generally good night for their cardboard deity.