Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) was denied the chairmanship of a key committee he had been desperate to lead soon after the RINO congressman faced backlash for referring to a group of conservative lawmakers as “enemies” and “terrorists.”
Instead, a member of the group that Crenshaw smeared — the group of Republican holdouts who refused to vote for Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as Speaker of the House — will now be leading the committee that he coveted, the House Homeland Security Committee.
Crenshaw rebuked the Republican lawmakers last week, many of whom are members of the House Freedom Caucus, branding them as “enemies” for having opposed McCarthy for speaker in favor of a candidate that does not represent the establishment — and for ultimately demanding concessions from McCarthy in exchange for their votes.
Speaking to Fox News Radio host Guy Benson, Crenshaw said, “We cannot let the terrorists win,” referring to the 20 conservative lawmakers who initially voted against McCarthy.
The Texas congressman also claimed that the “terrorists” were holding up the vote because they wanted “more places on committees.”
Rep. Dan Crenshaw on the 20 Republicans who oppose McCarthy:
"We cannot let the terrorists win." pic.twitter.com/toZlSdikpk
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) January 4, 2023
Fox News host Tucker Carlson blasted “neocon” Crenshaw for engaging in “Soviet-style politics” during his show,
“They’re coming out and telling you what they told you about Iraq: Either you’re with us or against us. You’re on the side of light or darkness. You’re good or evil,” Carlson said.
“What you just saw as Dan Crenshaw spoke is the snarling face of the donor class revealed for all to see, finally. The deep loathing of disobedient voters that may be their most passionate secret emotion,” he later added. “But they’re not bothering to hide that emotion anymore. Now you know how they really feel.”
Tucker on Dan Crenshaw's "terrorists" comment: "Over the past few years pretty much every part of the war on terror has been turned against the domestic political enemies of the neocons. What you just saw is the snarling face of the donor class." pic.twitter.com/Ygd5ptmjcD
— American Firebrand (@AmFirebrand) January 5, 2023
After McCarthy finally secured enough votes to win the speakership in the 15th vote after midnight on Saturday morning, Crenshaw waited another day before finally deciding to apologize.
Rather than going back on Fox News to apologize to his fellow conservatives, the Texas congressman appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” to try to downplay the comments,” telling anchor Jake Tapper that “things get heated, and things get said… I don’t want them to think I actually believe they’re terrorists. It’s clearly a turn of phrase that you use in what is an intransigent negotiation.”
According to the Houston Chronicle, Crenshaw tried to couch his remarks in the broader context of supposedly “vile things” said by “the very same wing of the party that I’m fighting.”
Despite the non-apology, the damage had already been done — and Crenshaw ultimately lost the chairmanship of the committee he had been campaigning for over the course of several months to one of the very people he chose to smear.
In November, the Houston Chronicle reported that the Texas congressman was regarded as a front-runner for the chair of the Homeland Security Committee.
Crenshaw clearly thought so too, as he wrote in a letter to his Republican colleagues that he was “uniquely positioned to lead the Homeland Security Committee.”
Citing the fact that he lived in a border state and served in the military, Crenshaw claimed in his letter that his experience and insights would allow him to “persuasively communicate our positions with the public.”
The Texas congressman may have also won some favor after raising roughly $1 million for the House GOP campaign arm during the last cycle.
Despite his best efforts, Crenshaw’s coveted chairmanship will go to fellow combat veteran Rep. Mark Green (R-TN) — a member of the Freedom Caucus.
Politico previously highlighted the political significance of Green’s committee assignment, writing, “Green is also an interesting candidate because picking him would give Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy the opportunity to say he has seated another HFC member in a senior leadership position, following only HFC Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).”
In a tweet thread expressing gratitude to McCarthy for his appointment, Green also noted that Crenshaw “ran a spirited race. I’m grateful for his friendship and leadership. I look forward to working with him, a fellow veteran who understands our national security challenges, to secure our homeland.”
.@RepDanCrenshaw ran a spirited race. I’m grateful for his friendship and leadership. I look forward to working with him, a fellow veteran who understands our national security challenges, to secure our homeland. /3
— Rep. Mark Green (@RepMarkGreen) January 9, 2023