A conservative Super PAC hoping to sway a competitive primary runoff in Houston, Texas, recently released an attack ad against Republican congressional candidate Dan Crenshaw that cuts out the retired Navy SEAL's battle wound.
Crenshaw served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he lost his right eye in the deadly Helmand province after encountering an improvised explosive device, yet the ad features only the left side of his face with no trace of his signature eye patch.
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The newly formed Super PAC, called Conservative Results Matter, is backing Crenshaw's runoff opponent, State Rep. Kevin Roberts, in the May 22 election for the seat of retiring U.S. Rep. Ted Poe.
The group has labeled Crenshaw an "anti-Trump liberal" in mailers and television ads that feature photoshopped images of the retired SEAL wedged in between former President Barack Obama and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.).
"‘Insane, hateful, idiot.' These are the words so-called Republican Dan Crenshaw used to describe President Trump," a narrator says in the TV ad released by the Super PAC last week. "Crenshaw called Trump an ‘idiot.'"
The attack parallels a Facebook post by Roberts, who in April shared a screenshot of an old Facebook post of Crenshaw's and accused the SEAL of "openly attacking Donald Trump as an ‘idiot,' ‘insane,' and ‘ignorant.'"
Crenshaw denounced the ad as a "desperate strategy" and said the comments cited were "taken out of context," Politico reported. He said the 2015 post represented an "aggressive defense of Christianity" after then-candidate Trump argued for a religious litmus test.
"I've always supported President Trump," he said. "I didn't always support candidate Trump."
Crenshaw recently met with the Washington Free Beacon outside of Houston to discuss pressing national security issues like North Korea and immigration. Crenshaw, who served four months in South Korea before medically retiring in 2016, lauded Trump's progress on the Korean Peninsula as "historic."