Far-right Congressman Madison Cawthorn shows no sign of stopping his barrage of controversial or offensive comments, and on Monday went a step further with an odd choice of words used to define a biological woman during a speech at the House.
During a speech in the House of Representatives on Monday, Mr Cawthorn attacked Democrats for working to protect transgender people against discrimination, while offering his own definition of a biological woman.
“Take notes, Madame Speaker. I’m about to define what a woman is to you. XX chromosomes, no tallywhacker. It’s so simple,” said Mr. Cawthorn.
The euphemism the congressman used to describe the genitals sparked immediate reactions from commentators on social media who questioned the 26-year-old congressman’s choice of words.
“That’s what happens when you’re homeschooled in physiology. At least he didn’t call it Peepee,” wrote one Twitter user with an eye-roll in response.
Mr Cawthorn has been in the headlines lately after an interview he gave to a conservative YouTube channel went viral because the congressman made explosive claims about his own colleagues during the discussion. The North Carolina Republican accused veterans on Capitol Hill, who appeared to be referring to Republicans, of inviting him to an “orgy” and others involved in the anti-drug addiction movement of making “key bumps.”[s] of cocaine” in front of him.
These comments were immediately widely condemned by members of his own party, while Democrats largely sat the drama out or responded with amusement. Republican members of Congress told reporters their constituents were demanding answers to the allegations Mr Cawthorn had made, and within days he was being dragged before House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise to explain himself.
After the meeting, the House GOP leader delivered a rare condemnation of one of his own members, accusing the congressman of lying in the interview.
“He lost my trust and needs to earn it back. And I’ve spelled out everything I feel is inappropriate,” McCarthy told reporters after the meeting.
“That’s unacceptable. There’s no evidence for that. He changes what he does [says] and that’s not a congressman’s right… He wasn’t telling the truth,” added the California congressman.
His recent comments are unlikely to anger Republicans, but do little to keep his name out of the headlines as he continues to contest GOP rivals for his seat in a crowded primary race. He also faces a challenge from Democrats in the fall should he retain his nomination for a second term, but the odds of a Democrat defeating him in North Carolina’s fiercely red 11th congressional district are slim.
One of the Democrats campaigning for her party’s district nomination in the May primary vowed she would defeat Mr. Cawthorn in November, while suggesting Congress should expel him first.
“Today Madison Cawthorn said that the definition of a woman includes ‘not a tallywhacker’ and that ‘science is not Burger King.’ If Congress doesn’t disfellowship him, I will defeat him,” Katie Dean promised.