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Cawthorn a fighter 'full of words' facing fighter with a record, Edwards says

State Sen. Chuck Edwards is challenging U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn in the May 17 primary. State Sen. Chuck Edwards is challenging U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn in the May 17 primary.

Of the seven Republican candidates hoping to defeat U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn, state Sen. Chuck Edwards alone stood up on Saturday morning to make his case for replacing the first-term incumbent.

Before the bright red torrent of campaign rhetoric that is a Madison Cawthorn performance, Edwards took a not very veiled shot at the 26-year-old freshman, declaring himself a fighter with a proven record taking on a self-styled fighter who is merely “full of words.”
“Let’s talk about what a fighter is,” Edwards told an audiece of 65 at a Republican Men’s Club breakfast at the Cascades Resort. “I think there’s two different types. There are those that are full of words, that are seeking to gain a political career and increase that Instagram following, and there are fighters like me that have actually gotten things done in government.
“I invite you to please look at my record," he said. "Look at what I have been able to do to represent this district in Raleigh. I’m the only person that can say that they’ve lowered income taxes for all North Carolinians. Income taxes are going to be about half of what they were in 2011 largely because of the contribution that I made. I am the only person in this race that can say that they’ve taken any action to defund cities that defund police like happened right over here in Asheville. I’m the only person in this race that can say I have passed legislation to outlaw sanctuary cities that we have because of these liberals that we have just north of us. I’m the only person in this room that can say I have actually balanced a government budget.”
Cawthorn’s only mention of Edwards was when he listed him among the elected officials who appeared at the breakfast. Instead, the conservative firebrand plunged into a 14-minute slab of red meat that covered the rise of wealthy, free nations — “Where the word of God went so too did go freedom” — to the $30 trillion national debt, America’s decline under President Biden and the mental health of the youngest generation.
“We have the most oppressed, medicated, alcohol addicted, suicidal and sad and anxious generation the world has ever known growing up in our country right now,” he said. “And the reason for that is because our ideologies are being challenged, our founding values that have brought greatness to this nation are not being taught to our children.”
Although Cawthorn has come under fire for his tepid support for Ukraine when the Russian invasion began and for being caught on video calling Ukraine’s president a thug, he told Republicans on Saturday that Biden is incapable of leading the U.S. response.
“The president of France, Macron, is not meeting Biden to see how should we handle this,” he said. “He’s meeting with Vladimir Putin on his own because he doesn’t believe that the United States will be able to handle what’s going on in Ukraine today.”
“Vladimir Putin illegally and immorally invaded Ukraine,” he said. “We granted $14 billion to go to Ukraine to be able to assist and I’m all for sending Ukrainian assistance. Let’s give them as much Stinger missiles as we can so they can shoot down all the warplanes from the Russians — they’ll be able to defend themselves. I don’t believe that we need to enforce a no fly zone. I don’t believe we need to put boots on the ground. But I generally do believe that we can send them the weapon systems they need. We should have already been doing it. To stop this war it needed to happen 10 months ago. We could have held Vladimir Putin in check. But instead we have a geriatric despot in the White House because of the stolen election.”
Edwards wrapped his action v. words theme with one last shot at the incumbent.
“It’s time to take folks of action to Washington, D.C.,” he said. “I am not full of words, I am full of action. … These are troublesome times, it is not a time to use the U.S. House floor as a training camp. We need folks that are tried and true, that have a strong resume of conservative principles.”