(NEXSTAR) — After tweeting on Sunday, “The Left wants to destroy the nuclear family in America,” U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), is facing criticism for the accusation. Some were also quick to point out Cawthorn’s recent divorce after eight months of marriage.
Cawthorn, 26, announced he and his wife Cristina Bayardelle were divorcing back in December after marrying in April. Cawthorn said while the two were committed to making it work, they “realized that balance was not attainable and that we had irreconcilable differences between us.” The Republican lawmaker said the decision was mutual.
The term “nuclear family” is traditionally considered to refer to a family of two heterosexual parents and their offspring. Cawthorn and his ex-wife also did not have any children.
“My two gay parents have been together for longer than he’s been alive,” former Florida House Rep. Omari Hardy said in a quote tweet. Meanwhile, North Carolina Congressional candidate Scott Huffman replied, “My nuclear family was established in 2004 and is 18 years strong. Yours lasted 8 months. You need to shut the frack up.”
Nationally, Cawthorn is a controversial figure due to his actions and statements during the 2020 election and during the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. In the wake of Pres. Joe Biden’s electoral victory, Cawthorn advanced claims of fraudulent voting, despite no evidence of widespread fraud that would have changed the outcome of the election.
The representative also delivered a passionate speech ahead of the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol, where he urged supporters of then-Pres. Donald Trump to keep fighting against certification of the election results, saying the Constitution was “violated.”
Recently, Cawthorn filed a lawsuit to block a challenge that would disqualify him from running for Congress again. The candidate challenge claims his actions on Jan. 6 and after fall under a “disqualification clause” in the 14th Amendment.
Rep. Cawthorn has repeatedly denied inciting violence or insurrection.