News and Commentary

WATCH: Congressman-Elect Dan Crenshaw: ‘We Can Attack Each Other’s Ideas, But Not Each Other As People’

On Sunday, Congressman-elect Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union.” During the segment, Crenshaw and two other newly-elected representatives were asked about civility by host Jake Tapper.

“A lot of people [are] talking about civility,” Tapper said. “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?

Congresswoman-elect Deb Haaland (D-NM) was the first to answer, and she said:

Well, first of all, I feel like some people’s definition of “attacked” is different than ours and what we’ve seen this week. We have all worked together extremely hard. … I feel like we’ve all been very cooperative and actually quite civil to each other.

Tapper then turned to Crenshaw, who said:

I echo that sentiment of what [does] it really mean to be “attacked”? 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.

Several days prior to Crenshaw winning his race in Texas’ 2nd Congressional District with 52.9% of the vote, “Saturday Night Live” comedian Pete Davidson came under fire for mocking the veteran’s appearance.

Davidson stated during the show’s “Weekend Update” segment: “You may be surprised to hear he’s a congressional candidate for Texas and not a hitman in a porno movie. Sorry, I know he lost his eye in war or whatever.”

After receiving widespread backlash for the remark, producers from SNL allegedly reached out to Crenshaw to apologize. Davidson also apologized on the next episode of “Saturday Night Live,” saying:

In what I’m sure was a huge shock for people who know me, I made a poor choice last week. I made a joke about Lieutenant Commander Dan Crenshaw, and on behalf of the show and myself, I apologize…

I mean this from the bottom of my heart. It was a poor choice of words. The man is a war hero and he deserves all of the respect in the world. And if any good came of this, maybe it was that for one day the Left and the Right finally came together to agree on something: that I’m a d***.

Crenshaw then rolled in next to Davidson at the news desk, hit him with several jokes, then offered a call to unity and civility:

But seriously, there’s a lot of lessons to learn here. Not just that the Left and Right can still agree on some things, but also this: Americans can forgive one another. We can remember what brings us together as a country and still see the good in each other.

This is Veterans Day weekend, which means that it’s a good time for every American to connect with a veteran. Maybe say, “Thanks for your service.” But I would actually encourage you to say something else. Tell a veteran, “Never forget.” When you say “never forget” to a veteran, you are implying that as an American, you are in it with them – not separated by some imaginary barrier between civilians and veterans, but connected together as grateful fellow Americans.

We’ll never forget the sacrifices made by veterans past and present, and never forget those we lost on 9/11 – heroes like Pete’s father. So I’ll just say, Pete, never forget.

Davidson and Crenshaw shook hands, and the segment ended.