Moments after Madison Cawthorn learned he would become the youngest member of Congress, the 25-year-old North Carolina Republican set off a controversy on Twitter with a three-word tweet: “Cry more, lib.”
“Hello from the uk. Is this how you guys act when you win? Don’t you want to unite, or build?” replied author Danny Wallace, who has written a book on the culture of rudeness.
Chris Cooper, a political scientist at Western Carolina University, said Cawthorn will energize younger people.
“I think he’s able to make a credible case that he’s able to help the Republican Party with a group of voters they’re losing: young people,” Cooper said, adding that the district Cawthorn won is reliably Republican and went for Trump by 57% in 2016. “It’s the youth that appeals to people, and the national attention.”
Meanwhile, his opponent, Moe Davis, a 62-year-old retired Air Force colonel, issued a statement saying “the voters have spoken and while I’m disappointed, I respect their decision.”
Once he is sworn into office in January, Cawthorn will become the youngest member in Congress, a title now held by Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“The days of AOC and the far left misleading the next generation of Americans are numbered,” Cawthorn said in a prepared victory statement. “Tonight, the voters of Western North Carolina chose to stand for freedom and a new generation of leadership in Washington.”
Cawthorn said he entered politics after a car accident left him paralyzed from the waist down when he was a teenager.
He has pitched himself as a conservative answer to The Squad, the group of young, progressive members, and all women of color, of the House that includes Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.
Cawthorn also criticized Democratic leaders at the Republican National Convention in August, saying they have “normalized demagoguery and a radicalized identity politics.”
But as Cawthorn spent more time in the national spotlight, some have criticized his actions.
He received heat for visiting Adolf Hitler’s vacation home in Germany – and referring to him as “the Fuhrer” in an Instagram post – in August, which was reported by several media outlets, including CNN.
“The vacation house of the Führer. Seeing the Eagles Nest has been on my bucket list for awhile, it did not disappoint. Strange to hear so many laughs and share such a good time with my brother where only 79 years ago a supreme evil shared laughs and good times with his compatriots,” he said in an Instagram post.
Cawthorn will fill a vacant seat once held by Republican Rep. Mark Meadows, who now serves as President Donald Trump’s chief of staff.
Contributing: Paul Moon and John Boyle, Asheville Citizen Times; The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Madison Cawthorn reacts to winning seat in Congress: ‘Cry more, lib’