Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn, an outspoken populist and Christian has been subject to a nothingburger-style hit piece on Politico, which published embarrassing photos of the freshman U.S. congressman from North Carolina.
On Friday, Politico published an “exclusive” of the first-time U.S. congressman from North Carolina showing him at what appears to be a public party draped in women’s lingerie, surrounded by women smiling at the camera.
Cawthorn, who was recently reprimanded by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for claiming that D.C. lawmakers invited him to sex orgies, has been subject to several unflattering stories in the media, including a claim from a former staffer who alleges that she was improperly denied time off due to two unexpected family emergencies.
The claim, posted on Insider, originally surfaced on a website dedicated to his killing his chances for re-election.
“As far as the candidate himself, I mean, he's just a bad person,” the staffer, Lisa Wiggins, said on a recorded call.
In the Politico piece published on Friday, “the revelation of the two photos is the latest in a series of unflattering headlines for the freshman member of Congress in the run-up to the primary in his first re-election bid,” the publication reported. “The primary in North Carolina is May 17. Cawthorn has seven Republican opponents who see him as vulnerable.”
The article goes on to accuse him of being a bad Christian, quoting his subscription to “Judeo-Christian beliefs” from a podcast as an example of his hypocrisy.
While Politico stated that it is unable to independently verify the photos, which are “screenshots of original images” provided “by a person formerly close to Cawthorn and his campaign,” the young congressman confirmed their veracity on Twitter.
“I guess the left thinks goofy vacation photos during a game on a cruise (taken waaay before I ran for Congress) is going to somehow hurt me?”
“They're running out of things to throw at me...,” added Cawthorn. “Share your most embarrassing vacay pics in the replies.”
In addition to his explanation, Cawthorn provided a link to the website Cruise Critic detailing the “Royal Caribbean’s Quest Game Show,” where the photos were presumably taken.
The website explains:
What Royal Caribbean event has you sharing your underwear, putting lipstick on strangers and screaming at the top of your lungs? It's the Quest game show, the adults-only scavenger hunt that ranks as a cruise can't-miss.
What It Is
Quest is uproariously fun, supremely competitive, and it's definitely for adults only, which is why it's often scheduled after 11 p.m. Many cruise lines have a version of the Quest "scavenger hunt," so check out your daily cruise planner to see when it's scheduled. While Quest might be the worst-kept secret in cruising, some people believe that (much like Fight Club) it shouldn't be discussed -- so read on only if you don't mind spoilers.
Here's how it worked: The cruise director would instruct a member or members of the team to bring him a certain requested item. The first team to arrive with the requested item gets the most points, the second gets the second-highest and the third … well, you get it. After the top three teams, all other teams that arrive with the item receive one point each. It started off innocently enough, with requests for items like "a tie" or "a sock with a hole in it" (yes, every sock has at least ONE hole in it). But it quickly got a little more bawdy: a man wearing lipstick or someone with their pants on backward. By the end, it was barely controlled chaos, with one male member of our group wearing a bra and poorly applied makeup declaring his name was Savannah Sunshine.
In other words, it’s a nothingburger and a hit piece.