Republican Madison Cawthorn released a new five-minute video ad on his social media pages depicting his opponent, Ret. Col. Moe Davis, as helping terrorists during their trials. The two will face off Nov. 3 in an election to fill the U.S. House of Representatives seat vacated by now-Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
The video Cawthorn posted shows images of the Twin Towers and mug shots of convicted men and states Davis, a Democrat, participated in defense testimony that helped them get lower sentences and settlements in cases where it was proven torture and waterboarding were used to solicit testimony from suspects.
“The accusations are false,” Davis said. “Yes, I was the chief prosecutor at Guantanamo for over two years, and I ended up resigning when I was ordered to use evidence that was obtained by torture.”
Davis then was called as a witness in several trials, but he said he makes no apologies for stating the truth.
“I sided with John McCain and Lindsay Graham that torture is a crime,” Davis said.
As far as the video, Davis said it’s a similar tactic used years ago in political ads to discredit an opponent.
“It’s the same thing they did to John Kerry and Dan McrCeady. It’s a swift boat effort,” Davis said.
Cawthorn also re-tweeted an old tweet made by Davis after the 2019 special election in North Carolina when McCready lost. The tweet said in part, “When NCGOP extremists go low we stomp their scrawny pasty necks with our heels.”
Cawthorn asked Davis to renounce the statement, saying it promoted physical violence.
Davis said there was fraud in the special election and he was venting his frustration.
“The point I was trying to make there was not a literal statement. It was a statement, they go low, we go high. We’ve got to fight back. Again, it’s just a desperate act to deflect attention from his (Cawthorn’s) lack of qualifications.”
A spokesman for Cawthorn’s campaign said, “Davis testified in defense of suspected and convicted terrorists. His defense may have centered around the methods used to gain testimony, however, the end result is the same. Davis' testimony helped reduce the sentence of one terrorist and secure a multi-million dollar settlement for another.”
Davis disputed that claim by Cawthorn’s ad, re-iterating he did not testify in any way to help the terrorist but simply stated the facts that torture was used on them at the prison camp before their cases went to trial.