- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 22, 2022

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel on Sunday mocked Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s warning about “Dark MAGA” after he lost his reelection bid in North Carolina’s GOP primary last week.

“I don’t know what Dark MAGA is. It sounds like a ‘Star Wars’ thing — like the dark side of the Force. I don’t know. I don’t know what that is,” Mrs, McDaniel said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“Obviously, it was a very well-fought primary. Madison had some issues that came out. He was a rising star in our party,” she said. “And we need to make sure we retain that seat with [state Sen. Chuck] Edwards who defeated him. And Madison did the right thing by conceding. We need to focus on the Democrats.”

Mr. Cawthorn, 26, lost his reelection bid to Mr. Edwards after a rocky first term teeming with personal problems and fights within his party. Despite receiving former President Donald Trump’s support, which Mr. Trump reiterated a day before the election on his Truth Social platform, Mr. Cawthorn eventually conceded defeat in the heavily GOP 11th Congressional District.

Less than 48 hours after his loss, Mr. Cawthorn posted a bitter and defiant post on his Instagram account, a “Dark MAGA” return.

“When the establishment turned their guns on me, when the Uni-party coalesced to defeat an America First member very few people had my back. This list includes the lion share of figures that came to my defense when it was not politically profitable. These are honorable men and women who are the type of friends anyone yearns to have,” he said.

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He listed prominent conservatives and Republican lawmakers whom he said defended him, including Mr. Trump, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and the National Rifle Association.

“I am on a mission now to expose those who say and promise one thing yet legislate and work towards another, self-profiteering, globalist goal,” Mr. Cawthorn said. “It’s time for the rise of the new right, it’s time for Dark MAGA to truly take command.”

Ms. McDaniel warned, however, that messages like Mr. Cawthorn’s “Dark MAGA” Instagram post are not helpful to the GOP and are only helping Democrats.

“I would say this to every Republican. They are the ones in control. They are the ones destroying our country, and Republicans who are fighting each other constantly,” she said. “That is not helping us defeat Democrats in November and that needs to be the focus.”

• Kerry Picket can be reached at [email protected].

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