Dan Crenshaw Criticizes Democratic Congressman for Saying Americans Elected 'Racist Strongman,' Says It's Demeaning to Voters

Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw criticized Democratic Congressman Hank Johnson for insulting, degrading and demeaning people in America who voted for President Donald Trump during a recent speech.

Addressing the Atlanta chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Johnson said that in 2016, Americans elected an "authoritarian, anti-immigrant, racist strongman." He said Trump and his followers wanted to bring the country back to a time in history when white men and white privilege went unchallenged.

Along with criticizing Trump, the congressman chastised those who voted for the president as being unhealthy, uneducated and addicted to drugs and alcohol.

"Donald Trump's supporters are older, less educated, less prosperous, and they are dying early," Johnson said. "Their life spans are decreasing, and many are dying from alcoholism, drug overdoses, liver disease, or simply a broken heart caused by economic despair."

Responding to the video, Crenshaw said Trump was fair game when it came to members of Congress sharing their opinions of him, especially because he had a platform to fight back. But the freshman congressman criticized Johnson for going after the president's supporters.

"You went on to insult, degrade and demean tens of millions of Americans who voted for him. To call them drug-addicted, uneducated, unhappy alcoholics," Crenshaw said in a video posted on Twitter.

dan crenshaw donald trump hank johnson
A campaign rally for Republican Senate candidate Mike Braun at the County War Memorial Coliseum, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on November 5. Congressman Dan Crenshaw criticized Congressman Hank Johnson for degrading the president's supporters during a speech. Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

He called Johnson's rhetoric during the speech a "cowardly form of politics" and said that as a congressman himself he might disagree with Johnson but would never insult the people who voted for him.

"I will never paint an entire half of the country as deplorables or fools or the dregs of society; I'll never do it," Crenshaw said. "And if I ever do, you better call me out, because I can't imagine a worse form of leadership."

Unlike many of the loudest voices in the nation, who have television shows or weekly columns or even large social media followings, the congressman said Trump's supporters could only express their opinion through voting. He criticized Johnson for using his platform to "insult and demean" them, saying such behavior was unexpected from a member of Congress.

Crenshaw wasn't the only one perturbed by Johnson's remarks. Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, criticized the congressman for making a "disgusting comparison" between Trump and Hitler. During Johnson's speech, he compared Trump's rhetoric and appeal to economically impoverished voters to Hitler's tactics during his rise to power.

"Americans, particularly black Americans, can't afford to make that same mistake about the harm that could be done by a man named Hitler or a man named Trump," Johnson said.

Following the speech, Johnson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he stood by his remarks and wanted to make the point that America's democracy was under severe threat. He said the threat to democracy was a trend across the world and that Americans couldn't allow it to occur in their own country.

Johnson has been a representative for Georgia since 2007 and won reelection in 2016. Crenshaw represents Texas as a newcomer to Washington, D.C. He was elected for the first time in 2018 and sworn into office on January 3.