Rep. Dan Crenshaw took aim at some of his Republican colleagues last weekend, labeling members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus “performance artists” and “grifters.”
During an event hosted by the Texas Liberty Alliance PAC, Crenshaw (R-Texas) theorized that there are two types of lawmakers.
“There’s performance artists, and there’s legislators,” he said, according to footage that circulated on Twitter.
“Performance artists are the ones who get all of the attention, the ones you think are more conservative because they know how to say slogans real well,” Crenshaw explained. “They know how to recite the lines that they know our voters want to hear.”
Crenshaw then claimed that during the first two years of former President Donald Trump’s tenure, a lot of “names you would recognize” were less than fully supportive of the 45th president’s agenda.
“It’s probably going to make you cringe a little,” Crenshaw said. “But Adam Kinzinger voted with Trump almost 99 percent [of the time]. Who was at the bottom? Everyone in the Freedom Caucus, all of them.”
“What you hear so often is not true. It’s not true. We have grifters in our midst … in the conservative movement,” he added. “Lie after lie after lie, because they know something psychologically about the conservative heart. We’re worried about what people are going to do to us, what they’re going to infringe upon us.”
While Crenshaw did not mention any lawmaker by name, the Freedom Caucus includes several prominent GOP House members like Matt Gaetz of Florida, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Louie Gohmert of Texas and Paul Gosar of Arizona.
House vote tracking data compiled by FiveThirtyEight indeed shows that Kinzinger voted with Trump 99 percent of the time in the 115th Congress, which sat from January 2017 to January 2019. Over the same period, Gaetz voted in line with Trump’s position 81.1 percent of the time, Gosar did so 77.8 percent of the time, Brooks did so 83.7 percent of the time and Gohmert did so 80.4 percent of the time.
In recent months, other members of the Freedom Caucus have received heavy criticism over social media posts and comments about other members — with Gosar being censured while another member, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), was stripped of her committee assignments.
A third Freedom Caucus member, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), was slammed last month after joking that far-left Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) had been mistaken for a terrorist.
While Democrats and Republicans condemned Boebert’s remark, Greene blasted Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) on Twitter for taking a swipe at her colleague — describing Mace as “the trash in the GOP Conference” and telling her to “back up off of @laurenboebert or just go hang with your real gal pals, the Jihad Squad.”
The social media back-and-forth between members has escalated to such an extent that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) felt compelled to scold his conference Wednesday and call on them to refrain from attacking each other as they look to regain the majority in next year’s midterm elections.
Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) applauded McCarthy’s message, telling The Post that “a House divided” is not a winning strategy.
“It’s time we had that talk,” he said. “We can win this thing if we stay together.”
“We don’t need to attack each other,” Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas) agreed. “We need to attack the liberal left-wing message that’s out there destroying this country.”