Crenshaw wears an eyepatch, having lost his right eye in 2012 to an IED while serving in Afghanistan. “I’m sorry. I know he lost his eye in war or whatever,” Davidson continued, the crowd laughing.
FOX News host Tucker Carlson slammed SNL following Davidson’s remarks, for which the comedian later apologized in a televised grovel-session. But now, more than three years later, Carlson is using similar language to describe the Texas congressman.
During his show on Monday night, Carlson attacked Crenshaw over his support for delivering U.S. aid to Ukraine.
“The more I think about it, it takes a lot of gall for 'eyepatch McCain' to attack moms who are worried about baby formula as 'pro-Russia,'” Carlson said, referencing the late John McCain, the long-time Republican senator, Vietnam War POW, 2008 Republican presidential nominee and Donald Trump foe.
Carlson has previously said he’s “root[ing] for Russia” and has been critical of the $40 billion aid package considered by Congress, which would help Ukraine. In a different FOX segment, Crenshaw told host Trey Gowdy that some GOP arguments against the package seem “almost pro-Russia.”
Some Republicans, such as former President Donald Trump and far-right U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, have argued that Congress should instead focus on trying to solve the baby formula shortage. But Crenshaw said they are two separate issues, with the shortage stemming from manufacturing problems, not a lack of funding.
“You hurl juvenile insults when you know you’ve lost the debate,” the Houston Republican said of Carlson’s remarks. “I stand by every word I said in my interview with Trey Gowdy.”
Some Democrats have taken to social media to call out Carlson. In a tweet on Monday night, California Rep. Eric Swalwell criticized the FOX host.
“I have had plenty of *policy* disagreements with @DanCrenshawTX but I have never have questioned his patriotism,” he said. “Just stunning to see Fox News tee off on a wounded veteran. Tucker Carlson isn’t man enough to give a finger nail for this country. Dan lost an eye. Case closed."
Certain Republicans are also condemning Carlson, including Gunner Ramer, political director for the anti-Trump Republican Accountability Project. It was “an absolutely terrible and disgusting comment” made by Carlson, who’s one of the most influential figures in the GOP, he said.
I have had plenty of *policy* disagreements with @DanCrenshawTX but I have never have questioned his patriotism. Just stunning to see Fox News tee off on a wounded veteran. Tucker Carlson isn’t man enough to give a finger nail for this country. Dan lost an eye. Case closed. https://t.co/lZrLhc3WGt— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) May 17, 2022
Ramer notes that in focus groups, Republican voters nationwide largely report watching the far-right OAN and Newsmax networks, as well as Carlson’s show. The FOX host’s remarks illustrate how much the party has changed in recent years, he said.
McCain went from being the Republican presidential nominee to a pariah following the rise of Trump, Ramer said. Carlson’s comments are a reminder that the GOP days of McCain and former President Ronald Reagan over; now, it’s the party of Trump and Carlson, which is bad from a “democracy standpoint.”
Referencing the 2018 SNL segment, Ramer said there’s “selective outrage” when it comes to picking on war veteran Crenshaw.
“The outrage that was there when Pete Davidson made his comments is not here at all when Tucker Carlson made those comments last night,” Ramer said, “because Tucker Carlson is one of the most influential voices for Republican primary voters, and just more broadly people that digest conservative media."