The bizarre race among Republican members of Congress to win Kyle Rittenhouse as an intern is threatening to become just that: a physical race. Rittenhouse is the recently acquitted shooter of three people amid racial justice protests in Wisconsin last year.
While physical feats have already been suggested to win Rittenhouse’s favor — Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) offered to arm wrestle Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) for him — Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) escalated things Tuesday on Newsmax when she challenged Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) to a sprint. Cawthorn has used a wheelchair since being paralyzed in a 2014 car accident.
“Now I do have some colleagues on the Hill who have, just like me, offered Kyle Rittenhouse an internship in their office,” she told chuckling host Sebastian Gorka, former deputy assistant to then-President Donald Trump. “And Madison Cawthorn, he said that he would arm wrestle me for this Kyle Rittenhouse internship.”
“But Madison Cawthorn has some pretty big guns, and so I would like to challenge him to a sprint instead,” she said. “Let’s make this fair.”
Gorka, calling Cawthorn “a buddy,” offered to arm wrestle him in Boebert’s stead.
In the run-up to his highly-anticipated acquittal, Rittenhouse became a folk hero on the far right and the most extreme Republicans in Congress wasted little time trying to get in close.
Earlier this week, Rittenhouse’s defense attorney dismissed the internship offers as people trying to leech off his notoriety.
“Well, I think there’s a lot of people want to use Kyle for their own means,” attorney Mark Richards said Monday on Fox News. “I think the way the Rittenhouse name right now has trended on Twitter — and that’s what we live in, is a Twitter society — people want to use his name, get it out there so they can get some publicity. I think it’s cheap.”
In a fawning interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson earlier this week, Rittenhouse said he planned to keep a low profile in the future.