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.
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.”
“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.
Where is Kevin McCarthy? He’s supposed to defend his members. Now granted, Crenshaw isn’t MTG or a crazy, but @GOPLeader still should say something.— Adam Kinzinger🇺🇦🇺🇸✌️ (@AdamKinzinger) June 19, 2022
Does McCarthy also appreciate McCains war record?
Maybe after the speaker race… ya that it https://t.co/pNThj4f8Di
On June 15, 2012, Crenshaw was serving with the SEALs in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, when an IED mortally wounded his interpreter and severely wounded him. 1/ https://t.co/lJAJZh8GQ7— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 18, 2022
He lost his right eye and almost lost his left. Just what in the hell do these far-right psychos think they’re mocking? 3/— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 18, 2022
This is absolutely horrid. Attacking Rep. Dan Crenshaw & mocking his war wound from his service as a Navy SEAL, while also disparaging another war hero, John McCain...All the result of Tucker Carlson's dangerous & repulsive rhetoric on Fox News. Will Republicans denounce this?! https://t.co/foOIQlZbrb— Olivia of Troye (@OliviaTroye) June 18, 2022
Anybody find it interesting how Republicans constantly talk about how much they revere the military, but then they badmouth veterans in their own party like war hero John McCain, whose name has become an insult -- "Eyepatch McCain" -- for another decorated veteran, Dan Crenshaw?— Lauren Windsor (@lawindsor) June 18, 2022
They came for McCain.— Steve Shearer (@PiquedPensioner) June 18, 2022
They came for Pence.
They came for Crenshaw.
They came for Cornyn, et al.
Republicans who think they can avoid it by being "reasonable" could be dead wrong.
But they'll act like the right-wing problem doesn't exist.
MAGA devolves into violence & they shrug. https://t.co/KWDktGJrA6
GOP Rep. Don Bacon tells me it’s “disgusting and disgraceful” that Tucker Carlson ever called Crenshaw “Eyepatch McCain.”— Melanie Zanona (@MZanona) June 18, 2022
“The guy lost his eye in combat and for a Fox Commentator to belittle him for it is beneath him,” Bacon said. https://t.co/ST6s8YT3nL
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.
Ted Cruz gets heckled and harassed by a right winger at TX State GOP Convention, who calls him a coward and a globalist, asks him how he can like Trump after he called his wife ugly, then finished with Cancun. pic.twitter.com/L1hEvN8nV5— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) June 19, 2022
US Sen John Cornyn gets viciously booed during much of his speech here at the Republican Party of Texas Convention. Here’s his closing remarks and the cascade of boos. pic.twitter.com/m2Hua9WdrV— Jeremy Wallace (@JeremySWallace) June 17, 2022
Shannon Larson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @shannonlarson98.