Madison Cawthorn, the 24-year-old Republican House candidate who defeated a Trump-backed team in the North Carolina primary on Tuesday, said Wednesday the president called to congratulate him on a “beautiful” victory.
Cawthorn was asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” if he had heard from Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, who, along with the president, endorsed Cawthorn’s opponent, Lynda Bennett, for the position in District 11 of the Congress, which became vacant when Meadows left. to join the administration.
“I have not heard from Mr. Meadows, but so far I have heard from the President, it was an honor to receive a call from Air Force One,” said Cawthorn.
“He congratulated me, he was talking about how amazing the victory was. He defined it as ‘beautiful’, ”added Cawthorn. “I was talking about how awesome it was that we were able to overcome so many big obstacles that we did.”
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Cawthorn said he thought the president acknowledged that his team ran a campaign that was “difficult to beat.”
“Also that we are someone who can really help ease this partisan divide that is happening in our country right now, help bring many of our voters together,” Cawthorn continued.
In a victory statement Tuesday night, Cawthorn said his victory was not a reprimand from the President.
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“I want to make one thing clear: I support our great president,” Cawthorn said in the statement that was posted on Facebook. “I don’t think this election was a referendum on the influence of the president. The people of western North Carolina are wise and demanding. You looked at both candidates and simply made the decision that you believed was best for our district.”
The Cawthorn victory, which was called by The Associated Press less than two hours after the polls closed, marks a rare victory over a Trump-backed candidate.
Bennett endorsed the president for his tweet pinned on Twitter.
And he went to Twitter Tuesday morning to urge people in the district to “get out there and vote for conservative Lynch Bennett, a Trump supporter, today.” Lynda is the only candidate endorsed by President Trump, and she is the only candidate with a proven track record of business experience to help carry out the President’s agenda. “
Bennett, owner of a Haywood County real estate company, was also endorsed by Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
Cawthorn, meanwhile, had won the backing of a list of local officials and also received some backing from a super PAC backing allied candidates with Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.
Cawthorn finished second behind Bennett in a huge primary of 12 Republican candidates in early March. The second round in May was delayed until June due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Cawthorn, who is not turning 25 by constitutional mandate to serve in the House until August, will face Democrat Moe Davis, a former military prosecutor, in November.
Cawthorn was partially paralyzed by a car accident in 2014 and credits adversity for inspiring him to jump into the race. He also credits the life-altering event for strengthening both his faith and his resolve.
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Cawthorn is running on a platform of opposing tax increases, “unsustainable” national debt, and “socialized” medicine, according to his campaign website. He is for life and demands term limits in Congress, as well as immigration reform to improve border security.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.