Texas Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw apologized on Sunday for referring to some of his GOP colleagues as “terrorists” during negotiations that led to the election of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as House speaker.
Crenshaw shared the apology during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper.
“Look, things get heated and things get said. Obviously, to people who took offense by that, it’s pretty obvious that it’s meant as a turn of phrase,” Crenshaw said.
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) January 8, 2023
“I’ve got pretty thick skin. I’m called awful, vile things by the very same wing of the party that I was fighting at that moment. So I was a little taken aback by the sensitivity of it. But to the extent that I have colleagues that were offended by it, I sincerely apologize to them. I don’t want them to think I actually believe they’re terrorists. It’s clearly a turn of phrase that you use in an intransigent negotiation,” he added.
Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL, had referred to the 20 GOP holdouts against McCarthy as “terrorists.” He later doubled down on his remarks but explained they weren’t intended to be taken literally.
“They need to be men and adults and say what they want, instead of playing these little games, that's what we're asking. That's what I've asked them. Some of them are my friends. Stop saying platitudes like, ‘Washington is broken. We can't do the status quo,’” Crenshaw said.
— Dylan Wells (@dylanewells) January 4, 2023
“It’s a figure of speech. People need to lighten up and grow some f***ing thick skin,” he said. “That’s what I think about that. I am so sick of like these hurt feelings. I already got criticized earlier because I called them something else. You know what? You step into the octagon, be ready to get punched in the face.”
Crenshaw continued to blast the tactics of his colleagues and challenged them to join in making McCarthy the House speaker.
“They need to be men and adults and say what they want, instead of playing these little games, that’s what we’re asking. That’s what I’ve asked them. Some of them are my friends. Stop saying platitudes like, ‘Washington is broken. We can’t do the status quo,’” Crenshaw said.
Crenshaw also criticized the GOP holdouts during an interview on Fox News Radio with host Guy Benson on Wednesday.
“They had no plan. They have some list of demands that mostly have been met,” he said. “They basically closed all the doors and pulled the pins on the grenades and are staring at each other like, what the hell do we do?”
McCarthy failed to receive the needed votes from the GOP House majority until early Saturday morning.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, McCarthy won with 216 votes over Rep. Hakeem Jeffries’ (D-NY) 212 after six Republicans voted “present,” which lowered the bar needed for McCarthy to clinch the position. The win came after 15 votes over multiple days as House members returned to Washington, D.C., after the holiday break.
A total of 20 Republicans refused to support McCarthy’s nomination throughout the early rounds. In the final vote, all but six of the GOP House members voted for McCarthy to help end the week-long battle.