• Rep. Madison Cawthorn on Thursday in a tweet abruptly pivoted from talking about the First Amendment to plugging his online merchandise store. 
  • “First they came for our Free Speech,” Cawthorn tweeted, “next they’ll come for our Free Shipping on orders $50 or more with promo code: FREEDOM50.”
  • The freshman Republican tweeted a link to his website, which sells a variety of products.
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Rep. Madison Cawthorn on Thursday began a tweet talking about the First Amendment, but then ended it with a promo code for his online store.

“First they came for our Free Speech, then they came for our Free Markets, next they’ll come for our Free Shipping on orders $50 or more with promo code: FREEDOM50,” Cawthorn wrote on Twitter.

In a follow-up tweet, Cawthorn posted a link to his campaign shop website, which sells a variety of products, ranging from masks that display the word “useless” to T-shirts that say “The real virus is communism.”

The North Carolina Republican has stepped into the limelight as a freshman lawmaker by boosting prominent GOP stances, such as protecting free speech rights against social media companies. GOP lawmakers and former President Donald Trump have frequently blasted tech CEOs for what they describe as censorship against conservative opinions on Twitter and Facebook, criticism the companies often dismiss. Democrats have also waged fights against the social media companies, but mainly over the spread of misinformation on the platforms.

Cawthorn criticized Twitter’s move to permanently ban Trump from the platform earlier this month. CEO Jack Dorsey said the company made the decision based on possible risks of more violence after the deadly Capitol riot on January 6.

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“It’s something we have to fight against,” Cawthorn told Fox News about tech companies.

Cawthorn, the youngest member of Congress at age 25, was one of over 130 GOP House lawmakers that objected to certification of the Electoral College votes on the day of the Capitol siege. He’s faced backlash over his challenge to the 2020 presidential election results and has also come under scrutiny after claiming that he was armed during the riot. (There is no evidence that widespread voter fraud occured in the 2020 race.)

Cawthorn defended his position for contesting the election results during a CNN interview on Saturday, but after an intense back-and-forth with host Pamela Brown laying out the facts, he ultimately backed down. 

“Yes, I think I would say the election was not fraudulent,” he told Brown.

Cawthorn’s website, however, sells a $28 red cap that reads “Make Elections Secure Again.” 





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