Madison Cawthorn, the Republican nominee for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District, told Breitbart News on Wednesday that he promised President Donald Trump to win millennial voters’ support for the president’s reelection bid.
The 24-year-old Cawthorn defeated Lynda Bennett, 62, in the district’s Republican primary on Tuesday to fill a seat vacated by Mark Meadows. He won 65.9 percent of GOP primary voters against Bennett’s 34.1 percent.
Bennett received endorsements from Trump, Meadows, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the House Freedom Fund, the Senate Conservative Fund, American Conservative Union, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Citizens United.
Trump called Cawthorn on Tuesday, congratulating the latter on his victory.
“I had a great conversation with President Trump last night,” Cawthorn recalled on Wednesday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with host Rebecca Mansour and special guest host Dylan Gwinn. “I’ll tell you that was probably one of the coolest phone calls I’ve ever gotten. It was from a switchboard director on Air Force One who then connected me [to] the President of the United States. When I was getting to talk to him, I vowed to him that I would secure the millennial vote for him.”
Cawthorn went on, “My plan for that is really not changing the conservative message, because our conservative values are time-tested. They have proven true, and it’s our American values that have made our country the greatest.”
“Our country is in perilous times,” said Cawthorn of his decision to enter politics. “I just got engaged, and my fiancée and I are planning on having a family. We’re talking about what that’s going to look like. [After] talking about that one night, I was outside alone. I was just thinking [to] myself, ‘Is this is really the culture I want to raise a child in?’ It was the first time I’d really thought about the reality, and the answer was, frankly, ‘No. I did not.’”
Cawthorn continued, “I’m not pleased with the way our country’s going. … We’ve seen what kind of generation that’s raised up. We see all these riots going on all over the country. We see just the [immorality]. … It’s a it’s a really dire time.”
“Globalist trade policies” have driven a loss of manufacturing jobs in America, said Cawthorn, highlighting NAFTA as an example.
“Currently, there are over one million square feet of factory space that is laying completely dormant here in western North Carolina,” Cawthorn stated. “It’s specifically damaging our counties on the far western reaches of our district.”
Americans should not compete with “slave labor” in China, Cawthorn held.
“Free trade sounds good when you just say it,” Cawthorn remarked. “Of course everyone wants to practice free trade. We have free market capitalism in America. Why can’t it work on a global perspective? But the real problem we’re facing is that people are not playing on a fair playing field. We are at a disadvantaged state here in the United States … especially when you look at other countries like China who practically practice a slave labor, and because of that, they’re able to just really price gouge.”
Cawthorn linked economic hardship to the creation of “fatherless homes.”
Mansour asked how Cawthorn would respond to pressure from interest groups in Washington, D.C., advocating for the expansion of H-1B visas and both legal and illegal immigration.
“So many [politicians] are indebted to — and almost chained and shackled to — super PACs, special interest groups, [and] big-name endorsements that come from outside of [their districts],” replied Cawthorn. “We have been very careful to not tie ourselves to any other ship other than a ship that is representing the people of Western North Carolina.”
Cawthorn continued, “We really do ourselves a great disservice by limiting the amount of influence that the people [of our] constituencies that make up these congressional districts all across our country have. … There’s millions and millions of dollars thrown in waves in front of these candidates, and you know that they’ll just jump through whatever hoop they want. Thankfully, our message resonated enough that we haven’t had to go out and seek super PACs or big-name endorsements.”
“My plan going to Washington, D.C., is that I’m going to do that exact same thing,” added Cawthorn. “I want to be a statesman, not a politician. I don’t want to be somebody who is speaking out of both sides of his mouth at all times [and] only shake the voter’s hand just when it’s for a good photo op.”
Cawthorn concluded, “Eventually that piper is going to come knocking, and you’re going to owe him, and at that point you’re no longer representing your constituency, but you’re representing a special interest group.”