Representative Dan Crenshaw (R., Texas) blasted the 20 House Republicans who have opposed House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy’s bid for the speakership. His comments came after McCarthy failed to win the House speakership in a sixth vote.
Guy Benson: Let’s get to our first guest here on the show. It is Congressman Dan Crenshaw, Republican of Texas, who is joining us from just outside the chamber. Congressman, good to have you back.
Dan Crenshaw: Very good to be with you, Guy.
Guy Benson: I understand that you’re going to be called on to go vote. It’s alphabetical C for Crenshaw. So whenever you have to go, just let us know. You can go cast your vote. But in the meantime, I think a lot of people are listening to this right now and kind of wondering, broadly speaking, what the hell. Feel free to respond to that however you so choose.
Crenshaw: Yeah, I mean, I’ve made my thoughts pretty clear and it’s getting weirder and weirder. Look, they came into this without a plan. And look, if you want to and here’s. Here’s what I’ll tell them. What I’ve been telling them. If you wanted to have someone else as speaker, you know, you knew this moment was coming. Is like, you know, an election is coming. And when you know an election is coming, you start running. You start building support. You go out and you fundraise. If there’s somebody else wanted to run, if they want to run a different candidate, well, they could have been competing with Kevin McCarthy this whole time. But they didn’t. They had no plan. They have some list of demands that mostly have been met. The speech Scott Perry just gave about what needs to change and etc., etc., those have been met as have largely been agreed to in the rules package. So we don’t know what the hell he’s talking about at this point. They settled on Jim Jordan for a while. He’s obviously very well-respected conservative leader, but then they did some, but now they’re settling on a freshman named Byron Donalds. I, I don’t know where that came from. They’re they’re making the argument that it’s about identity politics and that we should have a black speaker, that that’s actually where they’re going with this. No one knows what the heck is going on or what their end game is. They basically closed all the doors and pulled, depends on the grenades and are staring at each other like, what the hell do we do? Everyone is trying to work with them in good faith to give them an off ramp, because this is this is a terrible situation for them personally. They are responsible for holding up a GOP agenda. They could be responsible for Democrats pulling some really clever deals, maybe forcing a plurality vote, maybe potentially getting a rules package the Democrats want. I don’t know. I mean, the possibilities we could talk for hours about them, but they’re dangerous for Republicans. The best solution here is go with the guy that already won 85% of our internal vote. He won the primary with 85%. And so the obvious thing to do after that is to vote for him in the general election, which is what we’re doing now. We’ve asked these different members repeatedly what they want and they can’t tell us they give us these policies to give us. It’s like they’re talking on the campaign trail. They say the place doesn’t work. Washington is broken. Enough is enough. We don’t trust the system. We don’t trust it. You follow the rules and we’re like, What? What does that mean? Give me something specific. And they won’t.
Guy Benson: Well I mean if they’re talking about and by the way, they’ve now started voting. They’ve taken the roll call or at least it’s underway. And already Byron Donalds has two vote. So it looks like the same pattern is going to play out again for the sixth consecutive time basically here. What I’m trying to figure out is like if they say enough is enough and the whole thing is broken. I mean, this I now it’s the third vote, by the way, for Donalds. I saw Lauren Boebert just voted for him. I don’t know how else you could illustrate any better the brokenness of the place than this. What we’ve been watching for the last two days. And again, if there’s an end goal, an end game, some sort of outcome, that’s reasonable. I’m open to hearing about it. I just don’t really understand what that would look like. And therefore, like, where does this go, Congressman? How long could this go on?
Crenshaw: We our side will hold out longer than they will. We’re all noticing everyone turning on them. Again, it was a huge tactical mistake. If they want to rally behind Jim Jordan, even though he’s telling them not to, at least are our grassroots. They love Jim Jordan. So I get that. But they stop doing that and then they insulted Donald Trump. Did you hear that part earlier?
Guy Benson: Yes, I did.
Crenshaw: Lauren Boebert. And you know, because yeah, because she’s really served this country. So she gets up and she basically tells Donald Trump to f off. That’s what she just did. I couldn’t believe it. I mean, I just I just couldn’t believe it. So I don’t know what path they’re going down. I think, again, they’ve pulled the pins on the grenades and they locked themselves inside of a room and they were trying to give them off ramps and they weren’t articulate what those off ramps are. I mean, it’s genuinely frightening.
Guy Benson: And so let me ask you this.
Crenshaw: It’s almost like, they’re being paid by Democrats to force us into a deal with Democrats. Like I don’t know what else to think at this point.
Guy Benson: One name that gets tossed around is Steve Scalise, whose well-liked member of leadership. It’s like, oh, well, you know what? If you gave him a shot instead of McCarthy, first of all, McCarthy would have to step aside for that to happen. Second of all, if it were Scalise, would any of this dynamic change at all? I don’t know.
Crenshaw: No, no, it would change. And we all know it wouldn’t change, which is why we can’t give in. And so those of us who are standing against this, we’re standing for principle. They are standing for notoriety. They’re standing for that extra news that because nobody ever cares about them and they’re frustrated by that, and they want that extra news that we know that we can’t give in to this because then they will always run the conference and they’ll just get another scalp and another scalp, whether it’s whether it’s Boehner or Paul Ryan or them McCarthy. Scalise would just be next and we all know it. We just can’t allow that to happen. That’s why those of us are saying like, look, you pushed us into this corner. So now we’re now we’re saying we won’t vote for anyone but McCarthy. That’s why we’re saying it, because we cannot let the terrorists win. That’s basically what’s happening. And I do have to go.
Guy Benson: Yeah, I see that there in the C. So Congressman Dan Crenshaw. Go ahead and vote. I think we know who you’re voting for here for the sixth time. Dan Crenshaw of Texas, our guest on the Guy Benson Show. I mean, and obviously a very exasperated congressman right there. We do appreciate your time. And if you’re watching this or following it, he’s going to stand up and say Kevin McCarthy here any second on the House floor as he just had stepped away to talk to us. Talking about this group of 20 or so as terrorists. That was what he called them. Said that they almost seem like they’re being paid by the Democrats. Which is you know, kind of fighting words. His comments about Lauren Boebert, I mean, obviously, tensions are high. Within the Republican conference because, I mean, obviously, it’s a problem being caused by the folks who are holding out. And to what end continues to be my question. Right. This is what I said yesterday in my opening monologue. Still, when it was still relatively early in this whole rolling embarrassment, said, if you’re not a McCarthy, I’m not a huge McCarthy fan. I’m not. For a number of reasons. I don’t hate the guy. I don’t dislike him personally. He seems perfectly nice. He just sat four feet away from me in the studio not long ago. At the very end of last year, right here. Nice guy. Met his wife. She’s nice. I have not been overly impressed with his leadership. At the top of the Republican then opposition. I agree with him on some things that he’s done a good job in certain respects. No question. Less impressed in other ways. Dubious about whether he or anyone could be an effective speaker. How could anyone be an effective speaker if this is what you’re dealing with? Right if you’re going to have a conference that won’t even allow the 85% consensus of the party to become Speaker of the House. Then what? Once you move on. At some point you would think to actual attempt attempts at legislation. And by the way, it looks like Byron Donalds, who is just the standard bearer of Republican opposition right now, is kind of the placeholder. It was, as you heard Jim Jordan. Now it’s been Byron Donalds today. He’s now at six. So, you know, barring something else. I mean, it looks like round six has already failed for McCarthy. Byron Donald just notched his seventh vote. And we now have Dan Crenshaw back on the line, Republican from Texas, who went to cast his vote for Kevin McCarthy, who has 35 votes. Hakeem Jeffries, the Democrat who has come in first place by the way, in all these votes, he’s got 43. You got Byron Donalds at seven, which is past the threshold. This will be another failure, it looks like. All right, Congressman, welcome back. So you just cast your vote. I’m just trying to figure out, like. Setting aside what this means for the future of this so-called majority, because right now it is not a functional majority just in the immediate future. I know there’s discussion about maybe trying to adjourn again for the night like happened yesterday. What would that accomplish? It just seems like no matter what happens, talking more is achieving nothing. So at some point you would think that you would have to get out of whatever this rut is and do something quite different to try to get a different result. I’m just trying to figure out what those options would look like.
Crenshaw: Yeah. Look, we are, too. Because, again, you know, and I want to I want to tell the audience this very, very clearly. This has been reported widely. But any one of us, whether it’s members of Congress or members of the media who ask these 20 holdouts, what is it you want? What’s your end game? They can’t answer it. They can’t answer it because McCarthy and leadership did give in on a lot of the rules changes they wanted negotiated. Then they you know, some of these rules changes are not bad things, right? It’s changing the way the house works. Right. They claim that that’s what they want. And then they get these things and they get large agreement on it, because it turns out that the House majority is quite conservative and does believe in these same principles. But now they’re the dog, that caught the bone and they don’t know what to do with it. And they claim, oh, it’s not personal now it’s about trust. Okay, well, how do we overcome this trust issue? Well, you know, McCarthy voted for an omnibus in 2017. I mean, literally, this is the kind of stuff they said and we’re like, yeah, when Trump was president, you mean the defund Trump’s government, you know? So like these, they keep coming up with more and more ridiculous reasons. I love bringing up the example of Bob Good because I think he’s one of the worst members of our caucus. This is an absolute dud, but he literally got up and he was mad at McCarthy because McCarthy took three weeks to call him after the election. Can you believe that? McCarthy, by the way, spent about $2 million to get that loser elected because he couldn’t get elected on his own. You know, Lauren Boebert, who just insulted Donald Trump just because of Trump supporting McCarthy, I mean, she barely won reelection. McCarthy spent a bunch of money on her because she’s not good enough to win in an R plus six or seven or whatever that is. You know, these members contribute nothing, nothing to our majority. They contribute nothing to the conservative movement. They don’t write bills. They don’t think about policy. They don’t even know who Thomas Sowell is. They’ve never read anything about conservative philosophy or thought. They have no opinions on how to fix Social Security or the budget. They just want to yell and scream and then they want to make demands. When I told some of them, as I’m like, look, you know, one of the reasons there’s such intense animosity right now between these holdouts and everyone else is has to work for their positions. Some of the demands I mean, this is another crazy story. So so they demand more places on committees. So McCarthy says, okay, give me a list of names. And then they refuse. And then they say, oh, you’re trying to trick us. You know, I mean, it’s like it’s like playing with children. I mean, it’s very difficult to understand what it is they want. They also don’t understand that that’s not how committee selection works. The committee selection works their a steering committee and every other member who doesn’t hold the entire the entire body hostage, every other member has to go to steering members to make their case, explain why they think they’re the best for this particular committee, why they know the most about this particular subject, why they’re a leader on this and that. When I’m doing all of that right now for the homeland chairman race and they want a different situation where because they’re part of a select group that can hold the rest of the group hostage, they should get special privileges. And this is just this is just disgusting and this is disgusting behavior. And, you know, and if it were for a greater cause or maybe even for a policy, that’s the other thing. They’re not even demanding that we prioritize a certain policy. I would appreciate that. Like what if they were saying, you know what, I will not vote for McCarthy until we know for sure that the first the first bill we vote on is to secure the border. Okay, that’d be great. But that’s not what they’re demanding. They don’t even seem to care about that. In fact, they’re preventing that from happening. If they hadn’t done this, we would have already voted yesterday on a bill to defund the 87,000 IRS agents that Democrats wanted to fund to go after you and your families. That would have been the first bill that we passed out very close to. That would be a border security bill. We can’t get going. We can’t hire people on our committees, on Homeland Security to start investigations into Mayorkas because these people are preventing us from doing it. There is not a single member of Congress, like you said before, every member, every person here is a member elect. No one’s a member of Congress. So for what? For what? Nobody can tell you now. This is when you’re. This is becoming a disaster.
Guy Benson: When you’re talking to some of these guys and you say that you’re having these conversations. I know you’re trying to do this in good faith and you’re trying to maintain some level of respect. You also just call them terrorists, like I’m just trying to figure out. It just feels like the animosity is getting visceral and personal, which might make it even harder to get out of this quagmire.
Crenshaw: Yeah. Yes, sure is. I mean, it’s you know, it is obviously, obviously a figure of speech, but it’s you know, it is what it is. I mean, you’re holding a gun to our head. What do you want? You know, and I don’t want to hear. I’ve already I’ve already been attacked by them because I’ve used harsh language and I’m like, you started this fight. If you don’t want to get into the Octagon and get punched in the face and don’t get into the Octagon, that’s how I feel about it. I mean, this is because there’s no good faith here. The good faith has been lost. We keep talking about good faith. And then they want to play victim. No. No. So now I’m not going to apologize for harsh language. You guys know me. That’s how I am. I speak boldly. You know, and this is this is. This is terrorism tactics. It is what it is. You know, I’m not the first one to use that term, by the way. You know, it’s this is getting out of control.
Guy Benson: And obviously, literally and figuratively, this is not over. It’s nowhere near over. The sixth round ballot has already failed. And then dot, dot, dot. Question mark. We’ll be watching. Congressman Crenshaw, will be voting as they’ve been voting and voting and voting for two days. And whether this gets resolved today, tomorrow, this week, I don’t know. And no one really does at this point. And Congressman, we appreciate you taking some time out from all of this to give us your perspective on it. And I think the frustration in your voice is palpable. People can feel that, and it’s going to only build, I think, until this thing gets resolved. Congressman, thank you.
Crenshaw: Thanks for having me