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‘Eyepatch McCain’: Dan Crenshaw accosted by far-right protestors at Texas GOP convention

In this Sept. 17, 2020 file photo, Representative Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, questioned witnesses during a House Committee on Homeland Security hearing on Capitol Hill Washington.Chip Somodevilla/Associated Press

Representative Dan Crenshaw of Texas, a Republican, was confronted by several far-right protestors at the state’s Republican Party convention over the weekend who targeted both his appearance and political views, according to videos that circulated across social media.

While walking with members of his staff on Saturday, Crenshaw — a former NAVY seal who lost his right eye in a roadside bomb blast during a deployment in Afghanistan — can be heard in one recording being called “eyepatch McCain” and a “globalist RINO [Republican In Name Only]” by a right-wing social media antagonist.

The taunt comparing Crenshaw to the late Senator John McCain originated from Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

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Other videos show Crenshaw being verbally accosted at the same event. Those filmed accuse Crenshaw of being a “fraud” and a “sellout,” while also questioning him about so-called “red flag” gun control laws and his involvement with the World Economic Forum, which has become a major target of online conspiracy theorists.

One individual can be heard shouting in the background that Crenshaw is a “traitor” who “needs to be hung for treason.”

The incident happened at the weekend convention where the Texas Republican Party adopted several extreme far-right measures as part of their platform. Those measures included: Rejecting the results of the 2020 election, labeling homosexuality “an abnormal lifestyle choice,” and teaching students about “the humanity of the preborn child.”

Many people across the political spectrum reacted to the confrontation by both pointing out the current nature of the Republican Party and by coming to the defense of Crenshaw.

Representative Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois who serves on the panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, blasted House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy over the ordeal, noting that he is “supposed to defend his members.”

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“Now granted, Crenshaw isn’t MTG or a crazy, but @GOPLeader still should say something. Does McCarthy also appreciate McCains (sic) war record?” he tweeted. “Maybe after the speaker race… ya that it.”

“He lost his right eye and almost lost his left. Just what in the hell do these far-right psychos think they’re mocking?” added CNN’s Jake Tapper.

Crenshaw was not the only Texas Republican who was harassed at the convention.

Senator Ted Cruz was targeted by a far-right activist who called him both a “coward” and a “globalist,” while Senator John Cornyn was booed during his speech, largely in part because of his work with Democrats on gun reforms following the Uvalde shooting.



Shannon Larson can be reached at shannon.larson@globe.com. Follow her @shannonlarson98.