Congressman Dan Crenshaw recently blasted fellow Republicans in Congress as “performance artists” – a term he admits to learning from establishment Republican Paul Ryan, according to unearthed audio that also features Crenshaw hypocritically admitting that he couldn’t “claim that [he’s] not a performer.”
Speaking at a recent campaign event hosted by the organization Texas Liberty Alliance PAC, Crenshaw went out of his way to critcize members of the House Freedom Caucus as “performance artists” and “grifters.” Counting nearly thirty conservative members such as Representatives Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar, and Mo Brooks – the House Freedom Caucus is home to some of former President Donald Trump’s staunchest allies and conservatism’s most important voices.
“There’s two types of members of Congress: there’s performance artists and legislators. Now the performance artists are the ones that get all the attention. The ones you think are more conservative because they know how to say slogans real well. They know how to recite the lines that our voters want to hear,” Crenshaw explained during the December event before praising the voting record of “Never Trumper” Rep. Adam Kinzinger.
Crenshaw’s criticisms, however, appear at odds with remarks made on his podcast, Hold These Truths.
During an episode featuring his friend Congressman Mike Gallagher, the two discuss whether or not elected officials should play the role of “social media content creator” or “legislator.” In the discussion, Crenshaw reveals he learned the “legislator” vs. “performer” distinction from establishment Republican and frequent Trump critic Paul Ryan. He even admits to being the latter – the same behavior he publicly condemned in his December event.
“Paul Ryan and I had this discussion like he divides people up up here into legislators and performers, and the truth is is that you have to have a foot in each category to effectively communicate because whether we like it or not America is a giant reality TV show and people want to be entertained to an extent,” he begins.
“That’s easy to do because it’s easy in the conservative side to just sort of list slogans that we know work like lock her up,” he says before mimicking a cheering audience and adding “it just works, right” while laughing.
“I can’t claim that I’m not a performer. I jump out of airplanes in campaign videos. Obviously, I’ve done that stuff because it’s fun, but then you owe people a serious discussion,” he reiterates.