Republican Rep.-elect Dan Crenshaw (TX) ― the newly elected congressman mocked on SNL for the eye-patch he wears due to losing his eye in an IED blast while serving in Afghanistan ― isn't known as some die-hard defender of Donald Trump, but that doesn't mean he won't call out the Left when they're being hyperbolic in their criticism of the president. In a panel discussion on "Face the Nation" this weekend, Crenshaw's straightforward question in defense of Trump triggered a notable exchange among him and the Democrats on the panel.
In response to more vague allegations of Trump destroying democracy, Crenshaw asked a question he's posed to Trump critics in the past: "What exactly are we talking about?"
"I think some of our democratic freedoms and the principles we live by have been under attack for the better part of two years," said Democratic Rep.-elect Joe Neguse (CA).
Anchor Margaret Brennan turned to Crenshaw to ask if he wanted to respond to Neguse's assertion, saying with suggestive emphasis, "since the president is the leader of your party."
Crenshaw gladly accepted the invitation. "I always ask the question: Like what?" he said. "Like what is he undermining exactly? What democratic freedoms have been undermined? We just had an election where we switched power in the House. Democracy is at work. People are voting in record numbers. I always ask for examples. And then we can hit those examples one by one, and if it's worth criticizing, it's worth criticizing. But this broad brush criticism that the president is somehow undermining our democracy, I always wonder like, what exactly are we talking about?"
"I'd be happy to add all of the things," interjected Democratic Rep.-elect Chrissy Houlahan (PA), as Crenshaw's fellow panelists talked over each other. As one of their answers, she and Neguse charged that Trump is "undermining the free press," Houlahan also listing "the CIA, FBI, the voting process."
"Well, how has he done that?" Crenshaw asked in response to their first argument about the free press. "Obama had...many press members under investigation. Trump has not," Crenshaw correctly pointed out. "So what is the difference here?"
Neguse's best response was that Trump had temporarily suspended Jim Acosta's hard press pass for being "rude" and "placing his hands" on an intern when she tried to retrieve the mic he was refusing to give up.
"One reporter. Not the whole news organization," Crenshaw responded.
Watch the video of the moment below posted by "Face the Nation" (h/t Allahpundit):
Speaking of CNN, Crenshaw also made an appearance on "State of the Union" with Jake Tapper Sunday, appearing alongside more of his fellow congressmen-elect, where they discussed the problem of "civility" in public discourse.
"A lot of people [are] talking about civility," said Tapper. "But things here in Washington and the nation really seem nastier than ever, and I'm wondering if you think your class will try to usher in an era of cooperation, bipartisanship, and civility?
"Well, first of all, I feel like some people's definition of 'attacked' is different than ours and what we've seen this week," said Rep.-elect Deb Haaland (D-NM). "We have all worked together extremely hard. ... I feel like we've all been very cooperative and actually quite civil to each other.
"I echo that sentiment of what [does] it really mean to be 'attacked'?" said Crenshaw. "And, you know, my whole message last week was, was I really attacked? Was I really offended? That doesn't mean that what was said wasn't highly insulting and should be addressed, but I don't need to feel attacked. And I think that was the message we [were] trying to send. And the other message we're trying to send also is just, don't insult people, you know? We can attack each other's ideas, but not each other as people. That should be the goal moving forward."
Crenshaw's comments about not really being "attacked" and "offended" is a reference to comedian Pete Davidson poking fun at his eye-patch on SNL. Realizing they'd crossed a line, SNL invited on Crenshaw for some much-needed lessons on "civility." Video below: