Madison Cawthorn, a Republican candidate for the House from North Carolina, created an attack website accusing a journalist of leaving a job in academia “to work for non-white males, like Cory Booker, who aims to ruin white males running for office.”
The journalist, Tom Fiedler, who had written favorably about Mr. Cawthorn’s opponent, is a former dean of the Boston University College of Communications. He volunteered for the 2020 presidential campaign of Senator Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey.
Mr. Fiedler has since written articles and fact-checks about Mr. Cawthorn for a nonprofit news website in North Carolina’s 11th congressional district, where Mr. Cawthorn is facing Moe Davis, a former Air Force prosecutor.
The attack on Mr. Fiedler was reported by The Bulwark, which called it “a despicable smear” echoing racist remarks by Mr. Trump.
In a statement, Mr. Davis said Mr. Cawthorn had “proven time and time again that he is unfit for public office.”
“Revelations about Madison Cawthorn’s blatantly racist comment come days after over 150 former classmates at Patrick Henry College — more than half the entire student body during his time there — signed a letter and posted it online calling Mr. Cawthorn a ‘sexual predator’ who lied and vandalized property while attending the college for a little over a semester in 2016-17,” Mr. Davis said.
“The former classmates are now urging voters not to support his candidacy. And all of that follows earlier criticism about Madison Cawthorn’s ‘bucket list’ visit to Adolph Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest, where he reverentially referred to Hitler as the ‘Fuhrer.’”
By late Thursday, the website’s language accusing Mr. Fiedler of seeking to ruin white male candidates had been deleted. It was changed to read that Mr. Fiedler had “become a political operative and is an unapologetic defender of left-wing identity politics.”
“The syntax of our language was unclear and unfairly implied I was criticizing Cory Booker,” Mr. Cawthorn said in a statement. “I have condemned racism and identity politics throughout my campaign including during my convention speech when I highlighted M.L.K.’s vision for equality,” he said in reference to the civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
The open congressional seat, which was held by Mark Meadows before he became President Trump’s chief of staff, has become unexpectedly competitive.