Reader asks Answer Man if Madison Cawthorn sat in FDR’s wheelchair?

Today’s burning questions, my smart aleck answers, and the real deal:

Question: Our Congressman Madison Cawthorn recently posted a video on Instagram claiming he was driving around in an FDR wheelchair. Was that really FDR’s wheelchair? Where did it take place? I don’t think the National Archives would allow that.

My answer: If that bothers you, then you really don’t need to watch the video of Cawthorn trying on the top hat Lincoln wore at Ford’s Theater. What? Too early?

Real answer: Cawthorn actually caused a minor firestorm (more likely a burst of fire, honestly) earlier this month when he posted a video of himself riding in an apparently older wheelchair that Cawthorn said was FDR’s.

“Wow … sitting in Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s wheelchair was the most amazing moment of my life,” Cawthorn wrote in the post. “As a man in a wheelchair, I’m so grateful for everything FDR has done to pave my way into politics. Of course I disagree with many of his policies, but what an honor … what a piece of history Is it that a man in a wheelchair conquered an evil that sentenced disabled people to death? The ultimate middle finger. “

More:Cawthorn Confirms Residency; will not explain incorrect information about distance from the district line

Well, I doubt President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was put in a wheelchair after contracting polio in his adult life, thought of himself as Hitler the bird, but it’s a fun picture to think about.

Cawthorn, 26, was paralyzed after a car accident in Florida. He is a hot-headed conservative who sparked much controversy when he represented the 11th Congressional District.

This wheelchair was used by FDR, but it’s not the one in the National Archives or the FDR Presidential Museum.

“A recent video relating to the FDR wheelchair has no connection with the FDR Presidential Library and Museum or the National Archives,” said the National Archives Public and Media Communications staff via email. “The video was not recorded in the FDR library or in any other facility of the National Archives.”

More:Boyle Column: Cawthorn the Slacker? Or Cawthorn, the strategist?

For more information on the FDR wheelchair in the library collection, visit:

Cawthorn flagged an organization in his Wallbuilders post, so I reached out to them. JP Decker, who works with Wallbuilders, emailed me a reply.

“Congressman Cawthorn visited the American Journey Experience collection in Las Colinas, Texas on the date he specified and was actually in the wheelchair you saw,” Decker said. “The chair was in use by President Roosevelt when he visited Hot Springs, Arkansas in June 1936 in connection with the centenary of the State of Hot Springs, and it was auctioned off.”

FDR visited the Fordyce Bathhouse, Decker said, “because the baths from the springs eased the pain of his polio and can still be visited to this day.”

“Congressman Cawthorn seemed inspired by the experience because it was a direct link to a great official (who needed a wheelchair) but was still able to overcome such adversity to make a significant role in history to play.” of our country by leading Americans to victory over tyranny and oppressive regimes, “Decker said.” Of course, Congressman Cawthorn is likely to have many different opinions than President Roosevelt on public policy and political philosophy, but he was able to overlook such differences and instead see their shared love for America. “

More:Madison Cawthorn: Not planning re-election in WNC district; looking for a new 13.

It’s also worth noting that Cawthorn posted on Instagram a few years ago about visiting Adolf Hitler’s mountainous WWII retreat, the Eagle’s Nest in Berchtesgaden. Cawthorn referred to Hitler as “the Führer” and the visit on his “bucket list”.

I also emailed Cawthorn spokesman Luke Ball about the wheelchair incident.

“I saw the statement from the Wallbuilders and I have nothing more to add from our side,” Ball said via email.

On its website, WallBuilders describes itself as “an organization dedicated to showcasing America’s forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on the moral, religious, and constitutional foundation on which America was built – a foundation that has been established in recent years Years has been seriously attacked ”. and undermine. “

If you’re like me, you probably thought this name was referring to the proposed wall along the Mexican border, but Wallbuilders says it’s a reference to ancient Israel.

“In the Old Testament book of Nehemiah, the nation of Israel has come together in a grassroots movement to help rebuild the walls of Jerusalem to restore stability, security and a bright future for this great city,” the website says. “We chose this historical concept of ‘rebuilding the walls’ to allegorically represent the call for citizens to participate in rebuilding the foundations of our nation.”

Wallbuilders is clearly on the conservative side.

WallBuilders also states that it is “the national organization with the world’s largest private collection of America’s founding documents and artifacts.”

This is the opinion of John Boyle. To ask a question, contact him at 232-5847 or [email protected]

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