REPUBLICAN Madison Cawthorn has rocked the status quo in Washington, D.C. following his election to Congress in 2020.
While the congressman has been involved in a series of controversies in his political life, he is perhaps most notably one of the few politicians in a wheelchair.
Why is Madison Cawthorn in a wheelchair?
Madison Cawthorn was involved in a life-changing car accident at the age of 18 and has required the use of a wheelchair ever since.
But it has in no way hindered his ability to climb the political ladder.
In fact he has claimed that the wheelchair itself became a source of inspiration to him.
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"My accident gave me new eyes to see, and new ears to hear,” he said during a speech at the Republican National Convention.
"At 20, I thought about giving up. However, I knew I could still make a difference."
The then-25-year-old gave the speech after being elected into Congress as the youngest member since Jed Johnson Jr in the 1990s.
The North Carolina Representative has emerged as one of former President Donald Trump’s strongest and most ardent defenders in the United States Congress.
When was Madison Cawthorn's car accident?
Madison Cawthorn was injured while returning from a spring-break trip to Florida in 2014.
The accident occurred near Daytona Beach when his friend Bradley Ledford fell asleep behind the wheel of a BMQ X3 SUV.
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Cawthorn was in the passenger seat with his feet on the dashboard when the SUV crashed into a concrete barrier.
In a 2017 speech, Cawthorn said that Ledford left him "to die in a fiery tomb," but, Ledford publicly disputed this in 2021 saying that he did pullCawthorn from the wreck.
According to Cawthorn's deposition, he has "no memory from the accident."
Is Madison Cawthorn paralyzed?
The accident in 2014 left Cawthorn partially paralyzed from the waist down.
He has some limited use of his legs.
However, he has since been pictured standing.
In May 2022, a video surfaced on social media showing Cawthorn naked and thrusting his groin at a person's head.
He addressed the "crass" video on Tiwtter saying: “A new hit against me just dropped.
“Years ago, in this video, I was being crass with a friend, trying to be funny.
“We were acting foolish, and joking. That’s it. I'm NOT backing down.
"I told you there would be a drip drip campaign. Blackmail won’t win. We will.”
He was notably standing at his wedding to Cristina Bayardelle on April 3, 2021.
Cawthon also stood up and out of his wheelchair during his speech at the Republican National Convention in August 2020.
"Be radical for our republic, for which I stand," he said, whilst using a walking frame and being supported by two aides.
The move was dubbed inspirational by some, but others felt Madison Cawthorn was taking a political swipe at those who sit down in protest during the pledge of allegiance.
Washington Week anchor Yamiche Alcindor tweeted at the time: "Madison Cawthorn made it a point to stand, suggesting that all Americans to should stand during the pledge of allegiance & national anthem.
"It was a direct rebuke of actions by ppl — including black athletes who are currently sitting out games — protesting police brutality."
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