Dan Crenshaw Walks Back “Terrorists” Label for Anti-McCarthy GOPers

  • Dan Crenshaw on Sunday walked back earlier comments in which he called anti-McCarthy Republicans “terrorists.”
  • On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Crenshaw said he would “sincerely apologize” to his colleagues.
  • “I don’t want them to think I actually think they’re terrorists,” he told host Jake Tapper.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw on Sunday walked back comments he made last week in which he branded several of his GOP colleagues “terrorists” after their initial refusal to support Kevin McCarthy’s House speaker bid.

During a interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” the Texas Republican explained to host Jake Tapper that the party’s battles had “heated up” last week, while stating that he had no intention of describing McCarthy opponents as actual terrorists.

“Things get heated and things get said,” Crenshaw said. “Obviously, for those who were shocked by that, it’s pretty obvious that it’s meant as a reversal. It’s in the context of implacable negotiations.”

“Look, I’ve got pretty thick skin. I’m being called horrible, vile things by the same wing of the party that I was fighting against at that moment, so I was a little surprised at the sensitivity of it,” he continued to say. “To the extent that I have colleagues who were offended by that, I sincerely apologize to them. I don’t want them to think that I actually think they are terrorists. That’s clearly a twist you’re using in what is intransigent negotiation.”

Crenshaw had last week been deeply critical of the conservative anti-McCarthy holdouts, telling Fox News Radio that the party “cannot let the terrorists win.”

Sen. Ted Cruz — another Republican from Texas — criticized the use of the word “terrorists” during a Friday episode of his podcast, “Verdict with Ted Cruz.”

“My view is to settle down.” This will work out and it will be good, said the senator about the leadership battle at the time. “That kind of overheated rhetoric, calling people ‘terrorists,’ is not very conducive to anything resembling Republican unity. It’s not conducive to having strong leadership for the next two years in the House, engaging in vitriol and personal attacks.”

After 15 rounds of voting, in which McCarthy was opposed by a number of conservative lawmakers, the Californian broke through on Saturday, winning the vote 216-212 over Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York.

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