For the record, my campaign has lost thousands of dollars of signs to theft, destruction and defacement. My campaign reached out to the Cawthorn campaign twice last month to request that we put out a joint statement asking our supporters to leave signs alone since it was apparent both sides were impacted. The Cawthorn campaign did not respond to our repeated requests. Nonetheless, I told my supporters not to tamper with Cawthorn’s signs.
I have no reason to believe that the actions reported last week had anything to do with my campaign or my supporters. Mr. Cawthorn has incessantly hyped a tweet of mine from over a year ago to stoke anger within his supporters and create a false narrative of lawlessness in Western North Carolina. His ads aren’t directed at my supporters. They’re directed at inciting his.
Apply some common sense: Vandalizing signs does nothing to aid my campaign. But it does allow Mr. Cawthorn to play the victim and lash out at me for attacking him without a shred of evidence that I had anything at all to do with what was reported. Indeed, he should await an investigation by law enforcement before making accusations.
I want to be clear and unequivocal: I do not condone violence by anyone — left, right or center — and anyone who engages in such conduct should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I hope the person who was injured recently recovers fully. But to suggest I’m in anyway responsible is absurd. The person who was injured started a group a few years ago called the “Carolina Stompers.” His group’s motto was “Stomping liberals and RINOs.” His use of the word “stomp” was no more literal than mine.