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Congressman-elect Madison Cawthorn wants to forge a ‘new Republican Party’ that inspires young voters

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At age 25, Congressman-elect Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) will be the youngest person in Congress, making a name for himself before he was even elected back in November, having trounced a candidate backed by President Donald Trump in a conservative North Carolina district. Now, he wants a “new Republican Party,” Fox News reports.

Never having the backing of the establishment, he was able to win nonetheless, thanks in part to his different messaging and his yearning for a change to the status quo.

“My election was really a referendum on the establishment,” Cawthorn told Fox News in a recent interview. “They’re really sending me up here to fight against that.”

This lack of backing from the establishment has given the incoming congressman a sense of freedom, being beholden to only his constituents.

“I don’t owe anybody except the constituents of my district my victory,” Cawthorn said. “And so because of that, I’ll serve them no matter what. And I think that’s how it should be.”

Cawthorn feels that the Republican Party has trouble with young people and that the party needs to change course to change the view many young voters have that the party is “angry and just says ‘no.'”

“There is a generational time bomb going off in the Republican Party and that’s because they have failed to connect with this new generation,” Cawthorn said. “They’ve failed to iterate the fact that we are the party of freedom.”

The nascent politician wants to “brand a new Republican Party” that is bold and inspirational. The GOP can no longer be the party of “no” and skirting around important but controversial issues like health care and the environment, he says. Rather, Republicans should be “thought leaders” on solutions.

Republicans also have been too preoccupied with social issues and should become libertarian on personal affairs, Cawthorn says. The exception, however, should be abortion, which requires “very loud” opposition, he adds.

“I really want the Republican Party to be bolder,” Cawthorn said. “I want us to be a big tent party that says I don’t care if you’re gay. I don’t care what your religion is. As long as you believe in freedom and believe in our founding principles, you’re welcome in our party.”

“I really want our party defined as the Freedom Party,” he added.

Cawthorn will replace the 31-year-old Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) as the youngest member of the House of Representatives. Similar to her, he’s challenged the status quo of his own party and wants to see changes made.

Despite saying the two couldn’t be further apart on political issues, Cawthorn respects what Ocasio-Cortez accomplished.

“I have not met her yet,” he told Fox News, “but if I ever do, I’d definitely shake her hand and say, ‘Thank you for setting the example that you can be in your 20s and still make a difference in your country.'”

In particular, Cawthorn has his sights on the political party structure, specifically the National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC), which assists incumbent Republican representatives in winning reelection. Cawthorn says the existence of the NRCC is one reason why “great patriots” can transform into “establishment pawns.”

“I think a lot of people are lazy, and they’re not good at fundraising, and they have to rely on these big-dollar donors to give to the NRCC and then the NRCC will come in and fund your reelection and win your race for you,” Cawthorn said. “Because of that, they’re at their beck and call.”

Cawthorn is a supporter of congressional term limits and dislikes the House committee assignment process that compensates Republican lawmakers who show loyalty to the party leadership. For this soon-to-be legislator, it’s going to take fresh faces arriving in the nation’s capital to say: “That’s wrong, we need to fix that.”

RELATED: GOP Senator and Dem fmr. Governor: It’s time for term limits in Congress

Want more details about this story? Read the full original Fox News report here.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Cuomo says he’ll ‘fully cooperate’ with NY AG’s review of sexual harassment claims

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Wednesday that he will “fully cooperate” with the state attorney general’s independent review into sexual harassment allegations made against the currently scandal-ridden governor, saying, “I fully support a woman’s right to come forward.”

Last Wednesday, Lindsey Boylan, who served in his administration for over three years, accused Cuomo of suggesting to her on a 2017 flight that they play strip poker, inappropriate touching, and kissing her on the lips without her consent.

RELATED: ‘Let’s play strip poker’: Fmr. Cuomo aide accuses NY governor of sexual harassment

Following Boylan’s accusations, 25-year-old Charlotte Bennett alleged the governor indicated interest in having an affair with her while she was serving in his administration as a health policy adviser. In a Saturday New York Times report, Bennett told the newspaper that Cuomo asked her if she had “ever been with an older man,” adding that “age doesn’t matter” in relationships.

At Wednesday’s press briefing, the Empire State governor addressed the accusations leveled against him over the past seven days by three women and New York Attorney General Letitia James’ (D) independent review into those claims, which she announced on Monday was formally proceeding.

RELATED: De Blasio ‘sickened’ by Cuomo sexual harassment claims

“As you probably know, the attorney general is doing an independent review, and I will fully cooperate with that review,” Cuomo said at the beginning of his statement. “Now, the lawyers say I shouldn’t say anything when you have a pending review until that review is over. I understand that, I’m a lawyer, too. But, I want New Yorkers to hear from me directly on this.”

“First, I fully support a woman’s right to come forward,” the governor began. “And I think it should be encouraged in every way. I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it, and frankly I am embarrassed by it, and that’s not easy to say. But that’s the truth.”

This echoes what Cuomo said in a Sunday statement about the allegations, in which he stated he “may have been insensitive” during his tenure but charged his accusers of misinterpreting his actions, saying, “I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation… I am truly sorry about that.”

RELATED: Cuomo responds to sexual harassment claims, saying he ‘may have been insensitive’

During his Wednesday remarks, Cuomo iterated “I never touched anyone inappropriately,” repeated that sentence, then said “I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable” and repeated that one too.

“And I certainly never, ever meant to offend anyone or hurt anyone or cause anyone any pain. That is the last thing I would ever want to do,” he continued. “I ask the people of this state to wait for the facts from the attorney general’s report before forming an opinion. Get the facts, please, before forming an opinion.”

“I also want you to know that I have learned from what has been an incredibly difficult situation for me as well as other people, and I’ve learned an important lesson,” the governor said at the end of his statement. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for whatever pain I caused anyone, I never intended it, and I will be the better for this experience.”

Amid Boylan and Bennett’s allegations, another report of Cuomo sexually harassing a woman has cropped up. On Monday, a woman named Anna Ruch accused the governor of placing his hands on her cheeks—without her consent—at a 2019 wedding reception and asking if he could kiss her. A photograph of the two together at the event has also been circulating on social media.

RELATED: ‘Eat the whole sausage: Gov. Cuomo in hot water for resurfaced video

Asked at Wednesday’s briefing about the pictures that have resurfaced of him being touchy with people, particularly that of him and Ruch, the governor claimed that it is his way of greeting people.

“I understand the opinion of—and feelings of—Ms. Ruch,” Cuomo said. “You can find hundreds of pictures of me making the same gesture with hundreds of people—women, children, men, etc. You can go find hundreds of pictures of me kissing people. […] It is my usual and customary way of greeting.”

Moreover, the governor said that his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, would do the same thing.

“By the way, it was my father’s way of greeting people,” Cuomo said, explaining, “You’re the governor of the state, you want people to feel comfortable, you want to reach out to them.”

He also mentioned that he kisses and hugs legislators and noted that at an event in Queens the other day he hugged pastors and state assembly members.

Furthermore, the governor said that his intent “doesn’t matter,” saying, “What it matters is if anybody was offended by it.”

“But if they were offended by it, then it was wrong,” he added, going on to say that if they were offended or hurt by it, he apologizes.

MORE ON CUOMO: NY dem says state legislature is ‘inching toward’ Cuomo impeachment probe

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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