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Tipsheet

Crenshaw Addresses His 'Terrorist' Comment Against Anti-McCarthy Republicans

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) apologized on Sunday for calling the group of anti-McCarthy Republicans “terrorists” during negotiations for the House speakership.

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“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 during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper. 

“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,” he continued.” 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.”

The apology comes after Crenshaw initially doubled down and refused to apologize during an interview with Guy Benson on his Fox News Radio program. 

As Guy pointed out, the animosity between Republicans was "getting visceral and personal." 

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"Yes, sure is," Crenshaw replied. "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 then 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 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." 

Rep. Kevin McCarthy was finally elected House Speaker on the 15th ballot.

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