Madison Cawthorn suggested that the Rev. Raphael Warnock isn't really a pastor.
Rep.-elect Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) attacked Democratic Senate candidate Raphael Warnock on Tuesday, baselessly suggesting the Georgia-born pastor is an imposter.
In a Fox News interview during a visit to Alpharetta, Georgia, Cawthorn suggested that Warnock was only pretending to be a moderate southern religious leader.
"You see this Warnock fella who's coming down here and disguising himself as some moderate pastor from the South who doesn't believe in these radical ideas," Cawthorn complained. "But if you look at him, really, what he actually believes, he is a radical's radical. He wants to defund our police. He says he's a pastor, yet he's all about abortion. This is somebody who does not represent what real Americans believe."
Cawthorn also griped that if Georgia elects Warnock and Democrat Jon Ossoff to Senate next month, giving Democrats a narrow majority in both chambers of Congress, "it's not gonna represent the values of my home, western North Carolina."
Cawthorn is saying things that are not true: Warnock is from the South, a native of Georgia. After growing up in public housing in Savannah, he attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, earned multiple degrees, including a PhD, at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and was ordained a minister, serving since 2005 as senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, preaching from the former pulpit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Warnock is pro-choice. But contrary to Cawthorn's assertion, the vast majority of "real Americans" are pro-choice. A poll conducted by CBS News in late May and early June found 63% of Americans favor keeping the decision in Roe. v. Wade, while just 29% want it overturned. A poll conducted by ABC News/Washington Post a year earlier found 60% of Americans want abortion to be legal in all or most cases.
It is Cawthorn's own views that are outside of the national mainstream.
Last month, he lamented in an interview with the website Jewish Insider that he has been unsuccessful in his attempts to convert religious Jews to evangelical Christianity.
On Election Day, he made national news for tweeting, "Cry more, libs," after he was projected the winner in his House race.
He was forced to apologize in October after his campaign posted a website accusing his opponent in the race for North Carolina's 11th Congressional District of working with a journalist who had "quit his academia job in Boston to work for non-white males, like Cory Booker who aims to ruin white males running for office."
In 2017, he raved on social media about a visit he made to Adolf Hitler's vacation home, a trip he said had been on his "bucket list."
Now he has become the latest Republican to suggest that Warnock — who would be the first Black U.S. senator to represent Georgia — is not a "real" American.
Last month, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) tweeted, "Raphael Warnock’s radical, anti-American views are disqualifying. He should withdraw from the #GASen."
Warnock's opponent, Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, has accused him of celebrating an "anti-American" pastor and warned, "@ReverendWarnock would champion the radical left's efforts to politicize the pandemic and fundamentally change America as we know it. Not on my watch."
Warnock received a plurality of the vote in last month's special election, but because no candidate received a majority, he will face Loeffler in a runoff on Jan. 5.
The election is expected to be close in a state won by Democratic President-elect Joe Biden by about 12,000 votes.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.