Guy Benson A new hour on the guy Benson’s show it is Thursday. Thank you for listening I’m Guy Benson live in Washington D.C.. The Tony Snow radio studios guybensonshow.com for all the info including how to subscribe to the podcast. Joining me on the line now is Congressman Dan Crenshaw. He’s a Republican of Texas, the 2nd Congressional District in Texas. He serves on a couple of key House committees. He’s a decorated former Navy SEAL two Bronze Stars, Purple Heart recipient as well. Congressman great to have you back. Thanks for joining us.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) It’s great to be with you Guy. Appreciate you having me.
Guy Benson I want to just open by asking you about just general thoughts that you have and reflections on what happened in this country over the weekend last weekend there was of course the shooting in your home state. Twenty two innocent people were murdered nine more up in Dayton, Ohio. And before we even get into the partisan food fight that how unfortunately and inevitably has ensued I think what happened unto itself almost gets lost in the shuffle is everyone shouting at each other. Your thoughts.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) Well you know my initial thoughts or just like everybody else says this is we hate that this happens in this country. It’s absolutely disgusting especially when it’s when it’s racially motivated or politically motivated as it was in Ohio. You know we had a case where there was a basically left wing terrorist and we have another case where there’s a white supremacist terrorist. And we we it makes us feel sick. And I do call these terrorists acts because I do think that the point of these mass shooters I think their motivation is terror now. Now why they want to inflict that terror might have different reasons. But the the end goal is terror. And I have no problem calling it that. And my other thought on this is it’s been a trend ever since Columbine where we have these these these lonely men they’re frustrated they’re angry and maybe they attach themselves to an ideology after the fact and then they commit this this crime that is that is that has been dramatic and theatrical in nature ever since Columbine and in solving that issue is not simple. You know that the calls for gun control the calls for different legislation. They they often operate under this false pretense that these these these problems are simple and then they that they can easily be solved. But that’s not quite the case. And I think that’s why we’re having these discussions.
Guy Benson What can we do right. Because you look at the White Supremacy problem and you were very forceful in your Twitter feed about the scourge that is white supremacy and how it is a truly disgusting ideology that has no place in this country certainly no place in the centre right movement. And that is I you know a man fully agree. I also agree with some people who are saying that perhaps the number of white supremacists hardened white nationalist in this country is quite small overall. However when they get radicalized online and you have this sort of boiling cauldron of anger inside some of these young men who then have access to guns and decide that they’re going to go out and murder as many people as they can. There is there are some parallels to kind of certain forms of jihadism as well and they’re very very difficult to stop. Congressman and I feel like I’m suspicious of what I called Do Something ism where there is demand that the government act even if the action doesn’t actually accomplish anything. But I also think that many many voters will not stand for do nothing ism. How do you thread the needle as a legislator as you look at possible ideas that are on the table.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) All right. You’re getting at the heart of the problem here. And we do it the thread that needle and I and I think the way to do that is to look at people as individuals. We’re talking about white supremacy in particular. There isn’t some overarching organization that we can target. OK. The way that there is ISIS the way that there is al-Qaeda that is a big way that those those two those two things are very different. There is no well-organized white supremacist group. OK they do operate as individuals and and not in terror cells the way foreign terrorists would. It makes it much easier to target al-Qaeda and ISIS because of those attributes. It’s when they start radicalizing people online as individuals like we saw in San Bernardino or Orlando. And it’s very difficult to prevent it. So how do you do that. Well look we’ll start with how you don’t do it. OK. You don’t do it by banning assault weapons you don’t do it by by banning guns overall. You don’t do it by infringing on law abiding citizens. And it would blanket laws and for a lot of reasons one wouldn’t actually do what they say it would do and two it that’s a blatant infringement on the Second Amendment and our right to protect ourselves. OK. So that’s what you don’t do. The conversation that has come up obviously the president has come out in favor of of some kind of conversation about red flag laws. I noted that I think maybe we should have that discussion as well. Specifically at the state level of course of course that was turned into a to a very different interpretation of what I said. You know if you look online you would you would think that Second Amendment supporters are saying that I actually practically sponsored legislation on this front which is of course not true. I am saying that we need to have the discussion because as you noted the do nothing is not an option for a lot of voters. And if we are going to do something it should be limited in nature it should be smart. It should be tailored at preventing the individual who is doing the wrong as opposed to to blanket punishment for everybody who is law abiding. And if we are going to look at Red Flag laws there should be stringent safeguards in place among them a clear and concise and clear and convincing evidence multiple points of evidence. You can’t just be somebody making a claim against you. There should be punishment in case there are frivolous claims. Any any kind of conversation should be temporary should be able to be appealed. You should be able to have your day in court. This would operate within the context of our criminal justice system which still does assume that there is due process and that you’re innocent until proven guilty. None of that should change. And we should be very careful about how we look at these options if or if we’re going to have that discussion.
Guy Benson Congressman Crenshaw on another matter somewhat related something else had happened in Texas in the last few days. One of your colleagues from the Lone Star State delegation Joaquin Castro tweeted out a list of Trump donors with their full names and their places of business to shame them for being Trump donors. He suggested that they were fueling hate and racism. He said on MSNBC in defense of his action that he was just trying to get people to think twice before they contributed to someone who was spreading hate and meaning the president. Turns out that he also called out perhaps by accident some of his own donors who were not very happy about what he did. I’m just wondering how you felt when you saw that tactic. That’s something I had not seen before.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) Yeah I mean it’s funny because what you just quoted Joaquin Castro saying is is in a sense right now. He said it nicer but yeah he wants people to think twice because he wants to bully them and shame them in public and potentially Doctor him and potentially even incite some kind of retribution against them. You know there’s another there’s another term for this kind of tactic guy, it’s called fascism. This is what it is. When you when you try to bully people into thinking and acting different and especially coming from an elected official this is extremely worrying. I think what he did is absolutely disgusting. It also makes it very hard to justify what we thought we all agreed on which was transparency in how money and politics moves. But if you’re going to weaponize that transparency it’s going to be very difficult to defend it. And that’s really problematic. And it’s just as a culture that’s not where we should be. It really isn’t trying to mobilize efforts against private citizens is a really really disgusting thing to do.
Guy Benson Yeah people are saying well it’s public information and you know so and it’s public for a reason. And I think you know the reason is to keep politicians accountable to hold them accountable to prevent corruption. Not to have the politicians weaponize the list. Against donors who give to the opposition party and whip up mobs as we’ve seen all over the country being deployed to bully and intimidate people and you know I think the thing is he’s kind of set it himself. The purpose fundamentally is to get people to think twice before they give to his opponents. You call that a form of fascism. Should Joaquin Castro be censured by the House.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) I think we should consider it. You know it’s I say this a lot. It’s one thing when you come after me. It’s one thing when you pick on somebody your own size. It’s one thing when you pick on somebody who has a platform to defend themselves. It’s one thing when you take on an elected official you chose to get into the fray. It is quite another when you pick on an individual citizens who do not have that option. And I see it from the left all the time. It’s absolutely important. I see them calling out Trump voters. I see them calling them names. People who can’t defend themselves. We saw it at the at the Teen Summit a couple of weeks ago. I saw it on Stephen Colbert’s show where he’s calling out these teenagers making fun of them. He’s got to show the platform for millions of people but these teenagers do not OK. And these donors do not have the ability to send themselves either walking Castro has a platform as an elected official if he wants to pick on somebody should pick on somebody is upset.
Guy Benson Yeah and these are not mega donors these are you know a guy who runs a barbecue joint in a real estate agent or two of the folks that he called out by name in that tweet including some folks who are just retirees. Congressman last question. It’s an electoral politics question about your state. Four Republican congressmen have announced in the last couple weeks that they will be retiring at the end of this term including Will Hurd my heart sort of sank when I saw that news about Congressman Hurd I think he’s really good. There are a lot of people wondering speculating that perhaps there are a bunch of suburban or swing voters heading for the exits of the Republican Party in the state of Texas. People saying there’s a real shot to actually turn that state blue not because of demographic changes but because suburban college educated white voters are turning on the president. I wonder how you view the state of Texas heading into 2020 politically.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) Well I don’t think we can be complacent about it. You know I was definitely surprised by Will Hurd’s retirement. I’m disappointed by it. And the other retirements were somewhat more expected. A lot of these guys are great representatives their retirement age just about and I think they think they want to move on. I don’t know exactly what they were thinking internally. I don’t know if it was about the swing voters or anything associated with that. I honestly don’t know. When members retire they tend to keep their reasoning pretty close hold. But I I’m still optimistic. I’m optimistic about new candidates that we can recruit and get out there. You know we can get a younger new generation of Republicans that I think can speak to those suburban voters and speak to people our age speak to the millennial generation. That’s one of my favorite things to do. I love I love interacting with the younger voters and helping them understand what conservatism really stands for and why it’s the right way to govern. And so I it is going to be a challenge but I’m optimistic about our chances.
Guy Benson Oh I like that attitude and I think that you are an asset to the conservative movement for exactly the reasons that you just explained. Congressman Dan Crenshaw of Texas the 2nd congressional district down there. We always love having you. Thank you sir and looking forward to next time.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) Thanks Guy. Great being with you.
Guy Benson When we come back after this short break I want to tell you about something the president is reportedly considering very strongly. He’s said so himself. I think it would be a very big mistake. Having lived in the state of Illinois… There’s the tease. I’ll explain more fully right after this.