Dan Crenshaw, Republican Congressional Candidate for House District 2 and former Navy Seal, talks about his candidacy.
Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.
Matt Register: Welcome back to the show. Texas Business Radio. TexasBusinessRadio.com is always how you can get in touch with us. 844-814-8144 is a 24 call-in line to get those question in. You can also drop them in on Twitter. We monitor #TBR or go to the website, TexasBusinessRadio.com and get your questions in there.
It is primary season and we’d like to bring you certain people within that landscape and just get you informed, let you learn a little bit about what some of these candidates are about. Ted Poe, one of the Congressmen in the Houston area is retiring and there are a bunch of folks right now vying for that seat, one of which we have in the studio right now. I’m your host, Matt Register. Jay Curry, my co-host had to step out shortly. He’ll join us here in a minute, but in the meantime, Dan Crenshaw, who is running for House District 2, correct?
Dan Crenshaw: House District 2. That is correct.
Matt Register: Is joining us here in the studio. Dan, welcome to the show, sir.
Dan Crenshaw: Thank you so much for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Matt Register: Yeah, so tell me a little bit about your background, a very unique background. Tell me a little bit about it.
Dan Crenshaw: I’ll give you the quick version. I grew up in Katy, Texas. My dad was in the energy industry and moved us around a bunch. I wanted to be a Navy Seal my whole life, really since I could read books. That’s what I did, joined the Seal Teams in 2006 as an officer. I was commissioned through NROTC and had a ten-year career. On that third deployment … I went to Iraq twice and on my third one to Afghanistan, I got hurt pretty bad. I was on a mission in Helmand Province and I was hit by and IED blast. I was nearly killed. I was blinded and I made it out. I was able to get up, make it to the helicopter and then I was put into a coma.
Matt Register: Right.
Dan Crenshaw: Yeah, when they saw my condition. I woke up. I was totally blind. I was hallucinating. All I could see was Afghanistan. Through some miracles in the operating room and through some faith and my wife and just, honestly, I think that Texan grit that I maybe learned from my mother, we made it through.
Through miracles in the operating room, I saw again and actually went back on deployment two more times after that, back to the Middle East in 2014 and to Korea in 2016. At that point, I had to be medically retired. I wanted to keep serving and I had to find the right tools to do that so I got my Master’s degree in policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
I took those tools because I wanted to engage in common sense policy and good governance. I’m a Republican. I believe in conservative values and I believe in inspiring the next generation to follow those values. That’s why I’m here.
Matt Register: Well, and we were talking during the break. There is a lot things that Congress can do to make the environment friendly and more friendly for businesses. This current administration has done tremendous strides in lowering regulations, lowering taxes, making sure that the business environment is strong. All of those things are things that you advocate for, correct?
Dan Crenshaw: Yeah, you’d better believe it. That’s one of my … I’m a huge supporter of free enterprise and deregulation and taking back Congress’s role in deregulation. It’s great that we have a president who cares about that right now. Even the president can only do so much. You need legislation. You need statutes in place.
There are some that are being proposed like with the REINS Act and things like that where it holds regulatory agencies accountable. The Congress advocated this role a long time ago and we’ve got to take it back. It takes work. Overseeing incredibly complex bureaucracies takes a lot of work, but we’ve got to do it.
Maybe we have standards on what the cost benefit ratio of what any regulation might be. If it’s above a current cost, then it has to come through Congress, which makes it pretty difficult to do. We know that and it’s a good thing because we don’t want more regulations. We have hundreds of thousands of them.
Matt Register: Well, yeah, literally hundreds of thousands of them. I always find it interesting that over the last, I don’t know, ten years or so, right, especially since the beginning of the Obama administration, I can’t count how many conservatives that have been sent to Washington and en route, they get their lobotomy or something and completely change the way they operate once they get there. I’ve got to think the pressures, once you get there, is to abandon some of those values. How do you think your experiences as a Seal, as a former military officer, is going to allow you to resist those pressures?
Dan Crenshaw: Well, you don’t make it through Seal training without the mental fortitude. It’s 90% mental. It’s 10% physical. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a big 10% but if you go into anything wondering if you’ll succeed, you probably won’t because there’s an option. If you ever have the option to fail, you might take that option.
I don’t know what that mentality is like. There is no option for me except if the mission’s a success and if I succeed in this election, it’s because the people got me there. It’s because they put me into office off the issues that I ran on and off the values that I ran on. All the endorsements I have, I can’t pay for those endorsements and I don’t owe them anything.
People endorse me. Groups that have endorsed me like the United Republicans of Harris County or the Texas Asian Republican’s Club or the High School Texas Republicans or the Texas Patriots PAC, they support me because they believe in it. They’re not asking for anything in return. I’m very proud to have endorsements like that. Medal of Honor recipients, Markus Cantrell, Buzz Aldrin, these are some great Americans and they’re behind me because they believe in me. I owe that to the 2nd District to do what I said I was going to do and be honest and let them know that I’ve got their back.
Matt Register: Well, it’s interesting. It’s a nine person race. It’s a very, very competitive race. How are you sitting right now?
Dan Crenshaw: I think we’re doing pretty well. I think we’re doing pretty well. It’s such a short race, it’s hard to tell. There’s a lot of money. Competition is self-funding with a lot of money. I have to fund raise everything myself. Despite all that, we’re doing really well. We’ve got the right message. I think people know that we’re in it for the right reasons.
Free enterprise, I’m one of the only candidates in the race with recent relevant experience in national security issues, one of the only candidates who understands what our border patrol goes through because I’ve patrolled those dark, scary areas at night and they need our help. Texas priorities are my priorities. It’s securing the border. It’s fixing our immigration system. It’s free enterprise and it’s having a national security apparatus that makes sense.
Putting people in Congress that really understand these things, who have the intelligence briefings, who knows what it means to deploy to places like Korea and the Arabian Gulf and all over the world … I still have a security clearance. I understand these things. I don’t need to be brought up to speed. I don’t need talking points. I’m there to do it and I’ve got the right experience for it.
Matt Register: Well, we certainly wish you luck. This is going to be a fascinating race. The primary itself is when? March 6th? Is that right?
Dan Crenshaw: March 6th. Early voting starts February 20th.
Matt Register: February 20th until March 4th or something is early voting and then March 6th is the actual primary. Whoever wins this primary is the one who gets to go stand toe to toe against a Democrat and find out who actually goes to the seat. You have several more months worth of work here, assuming you win here in the short term, right?
Dan Crenshaw: Yeah, and I’m no stranger to a lot of work. I’m no stranger to not quitting. I didn’t quit after I got blown up. People thought I should. I didn’t even question it. You keep going. I didn’t quit after I had to be medically retired. I went to school so I could get the right tools to engage in policy discussions. That’s what really matters. We’re being elected to be policy makers.
Matt Register: Well, hey, we’re certainly onboard. It makes all the sense in the world to me. Dan Crenshaw, Republican candidate for House District 2. Website? What’s the easiest way for somebody to get in touch with you or for somebody to donate, should they want to make sure that you have the tools you need to succeed here?
Dan Crenshaw: Well, CrenshawforCongress.com is the best way. That’s CrenshawforCongress, C-R-E-N-S-H-A-W-f-o-r-Congress.com. You can get us on Facebook, too at CrenshawforCongress. Twitter is DanCrenshawTX. Follow us. We’ve got an exciting social media following. You can see all of our ads and all of our videos. You can find out a lot about me and, of course, donate and support, get a yard sign, whatever you want, volunteer. It’s an exciting campaign and we’ve got a good shot of winning. We’ve just got to get over the finish line.
Matt Register: Well, best of luck to you and thank you very much for your service. Dan Crenshaw, conservative Republican candidate for House District 2. CrenshawforCongress. We’re going to have it linked right here from TexasBusinessRadio.com. If you’re driving and can’t take notes, we’ll have it linked right there and we’ll probably link some of your social media as well. We do have to go pay a couple of our own bills, though. We have some bills of our own to pay. We’ll be back right after this with a whole lot more Texas Business Radio. Don’t go anywhere.
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In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.