Newly elected North Carolina Congressman Madison Cawthorn said Congress was trying to silence Trump supporters at the Washington D.C. rally before rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol Wednesday.
“My friends, the Democrats, with all the fraud they have done in this election, the Republicans hiding and not fighting, they are trying to silence your voice,” Cawthorn told the crowd.
The North Caroline Republican spoke a little more than an hour before Donald Trump, who has been blamed for inciting the crowd before the rioters broke their way into the Capitol as Congress met to certify the presidential election.
“I just rolled down from the Capitol building about two miles away down Pennsylvania Avenue. And I will tell you, the courage I see in this crowd is not represented on that hill,” Cawthorn told the cheering crowd just hours before violence broke out.
Cawthorn shared a short video clip of his speech on Twitter. "American Patriotism will never be silenced! Honored to speak out in defense of the Constitution!" he said on Twitter, sharing the video clip before the rally turned violent.
Later, as Trump supporters ransacked the Capitol, Cawthorn tweeted, “We must let Congress work and uphold law and order. We are the party that backs the blue. I ask you to back the blue now and let the objections continue in accordance with the constitution.”
Cawthorn rose to prominence in the Republican Party when he won the primary to take over the seat vacated by Mark Meadows, who left to become the White House chief of staff. In August, Cawthorn got a coveted spot to speak during the Republican National Convention.
The district covers North Carolina’s western-most counties.
Cawthorn voted against verifying the election for Joe Biden when Congress convened again later Wednesday night and into Thursday morning.
Despite attempts by some Republicans in the House and Senate, the Electoral College votes were certified, and Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in on Jan. 20.
Spectrum News 1 was unable to contact anyone from Cawthorn’s office Thursday for comment.
Here’s the full transcript of Cawthorn’s speech at Wednesday’s rally:
“Wow, this crowd has some fight in it. I am so thankful that each and every single one of you who’ve come.
“I just rolled down from the Capitol building about two miles away down Pennsylvania Avenue. And I will tell you, the courage I see in this crowd is not represented on that hill.
“My friends, I will tell you right now that there is a new Republican Party rising. The founders of our great country saw to it that the people who consent to be governed should have a voice in that government.
“But my friends, the Democrats, with all the fraud they have done in this election, the Republicans hiding and not fighting, they are trying to silence your voice.
“Make no mistake about it, they do not want you to be heard. But my friends, when I look out into this crowd, I can confidently say, this crowd has the voice of lions. There is a new Republican Party on the rise that will represent this country, that will go and fight in Washington D.C.
“I’ll tell you, I see so many of my friends who are up in Congress with me who are about to go back to that Capitol Hill and at 12 o’clock today we will be contesting that election. But, my friends, bear in mind, there is a significant portion of our party that says we should just sit idly by and sit on our hands. They have no backbone.
“My friends, I encourage you, continue to make your voice heard, because, do we love Donald Trump? But my friends, we’re not just doing this for Donald Trump, we are doing this for the Constitution. Our Constitution was violated.
“You know, if I knew that a city clerk, in a city with my name, named Madison, can overturn a state legislature and alter the course of an election, well hell, I might have ran for a different office.
“My friends, I encourage you, go back to your states after today, hold your representatives accountable, make sure that they stood up for election integrity, and make your voices heard.
“My friends, I want you to chant with me so loud that the cowards on Washington D.C. that I serve with can hear you. While I leave, let’s get a chant so Donald Trump knows who supports him: U-S-A U-S-A U-S-A.
“Thank you all. God bless.”