Staind frontman Aaron Lewis welcomed North Carolina Republican congressman Madison Cawthorn on stage during a concert at the weekend.
On Saturday (February 12), Lewis took to the stage at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee, North Carolina, for a solo show.
During his set, the Staind musician brought out Cawthorn, who has developed a following as one of the most far-right members of Congress, and introduced him as his “dear friend”.
“Not only is he the youngest congressman ever, he’s doing some fucking shit that I’ve never seen a congressman have the balls to do,” Lewis told the crowd. “He’s putting through legislature to limit term limits. He fucking cleans his guns while on a Zoom call with other fucking liberal congressmen. He’s from your fucking district.”
Cawthorn then gave a brief speech criticising the Democrats for their COVID mandates and alleged disinformation surrounding the virus, after which Lewis called him a “fucking lion”, and added that “we need lions”.
You can see the introduction below:
Cawthorn is the youngest member of Congress at 26 years old. He was heavily criticised for promoting then-President Donald Trump’s January 6 rally, which came ahead of the insurrection at the Capitol Building that same day.
He was also a speaker at the rally, where he followed Trump’s lead and made claims of election fraud. “My friends, the Democrats with all the fraud they have done in this election, the Republicans hiding and not fighting – they are trying to silence your voice,” Cawthorn said during the rally.
The day after the riot, he called members of the mob “disgusting” and “pathetic,” saying he could not support their actions even though they likely would have voted for him if they were in his district. Then seven months later, while speaking at a Macon County GOP event in Franklin, Cawthorn called those arrested for their part in the insurrection “political prisoners”.
Last month, Cawthorn received backlash for cleaning a gun in his office during a House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Zoom meeting on how chemicals are allegedly killing veterans.
Lewis, an outspoken conservative rocker, has been railing against COVID-19 vaccine mandates in recent months, calling the jab an “unproven” drug which hasn’t been “tested”.
He made headlines in September when he urged his fans to chant “Fuck Joe Biden” during a Staind concert in Pennsylvania.
In October, he opened up about the controversial track, explaining that he’d written the track with Jeffrey Steele and Ira Dean as a response to “what we all just had gone through in our own lives with the shutdown and with the craziness that we’ve watched on TV over the last 18 months”.
Speaking with right-wing provocateur Candace Owens, appearing on her Daily Wire podcast Candace, Lewis was asked why he chose to single out Springsteen on the track.
He replied: “Because he’s always portrayed himself as the all-American middle-class guy. And during all of this craziness, he said that if one man is re-elected to the office of presidency that he was gonna move to Australia. How American is that? You’re gonna bail on America just because you don’t like the guy that may have gotten into office?”