Republicans have certainly had an interesting few weeks in America as the Donald Trump presidency wound down and Joe Biden’s time in office got underway. There was a Trump-incited coup attempt that many notable Republicans encouraged in their own way, both with inflammatory rhetoric and an attempt to object to the electoral college results that failed as well.
One of the Republican lawmakers who voted to object to the will of the American people was Madison Cawthorn, a freshman lawmaker from North Carolina who has stood by Donald Trump and his baseless claims that massive, widespread voter fraud somehow cost him the election he lost in the Electoral College by several states.
On Saturday, Cawthorn appeared on CNN and was interviewed by Pamela Brown, who questioned that support and asked him to present any actual evidence of his claims that Trump lost a rigged election. And while Cawthorn tried to stick to his talking points, he simply came up empty when offering proof, sputtering through an interview that was quickly mocked on social media.
CNN's Pamela Brown challenged Madison Cawthorn to cite evidence of election fraud to back up his vote against certifying the election results. He had nothing. pic.twitter.com/irBADDOciU
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 24, 2021
“But this was all litigated,” Brown said of Cawthorn’s repeated attempts to cry fraud in Wisconsin. “You know that the Trump campaign litigated all of this, more than 60 cases and they lost. Either the cases were dismissed, the Trump campaign withdrew or they never brought a case because the Trump campaign didn’t have the evidence to back it up.”
Cawthorn actually agreed with that fact, but kept trying to claim things were amiss. So Brown kept pressing, and people were quick to point out that even some of the things Cawthorn did manage to say were simply not true.
What this GOP congressman is saying is simply not true. The federal judge who dismissed the WI case explicitly ruled on the merits. If you don't believe me, here are the briefs and the actual court decision. https://t.co/LfKb2PUIkq https://t.co/JHXExDEDgq pic.twitter.com/7qYFIh6W6f
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) January 24, 2021
Brown eventually asked Cawthorn directly to present specific instances of voter fraud, not just suspicions or wild conspiracy theories that were never proven in court or anywhere at all. Cawthorn answered “no” but kept trying to explain why he contested the election without any evidence of fraud at all.
“So you wanted to throw out millions of votes without ever seeing any concrete evidence of fraud?” Brown asked. “Because that’s what you were doing when you contested the election. The intent there was throwing out millions of votes.”
There was a long, awkward pause before Cawthorn simply said “well I disagree with you on that point,” claiming he wanted to “uphold the constitution” while going back to baselessly claiming “ballot harvesting” occurred in Wisconsin. So Brown continued.
“So you knew more than the judge, the Trump-appointed judge, who actually looked at that case before the election and dismissed the Trump campaign’s argument that drop boxes are unconstitutional?” Brown asked. “And if you would, would you point me to where in the constitution it says that drop boxes are unconstitutional? I don’t recall seeing that in the constitution.”
The longer the interview went on, the worse it got for Cawthorn, who at one point was embarrassingly didn’t know his own state changed voting rules in the leadup to the 2020 election because of the coronavirus pandemic. Brown asked Cawthorn why he didn’t object to those rule changes in North Carolina but claims that similar rule changes in Wisconsin were, in his words, “unconstitutional.”
“I’m just wondering,” Brown said, “If you’re so concerned about these rules being changed with the election, why wouldn’t you focus on your own home state of North Carolina? You’re telling me your focus is about election integrity, not politics, not the results of the election, right?”
Brown’s biggest point in that line of questioning is that North Carolina actually did see voter fraud in the 2018 midterm elections, and yet somehow Cawthorn isn’t worried about rule changes that were made even after people started voting there but somehow thinks Wisconsin was awash in fraud. In other words, it wasn’t a very good appearance for the young GOP representative on national television. But it was a very thorough and well-prepared Brown that made for good TV on Saturday night.