Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) put Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) on blast for what he says was a pandering tweet directed at the U.S. military.
Earlier this week, Sanders tweeted about veteran issues after an engagement with a veteran during a Nevada town hall event. The vet told the Democratic presidential candidate that he planned to commit suicide and was more than $100,000 in medical debt.
On Twitter, Sanders wrote, "If you can't afford to take care of your veterans, then don't go to war."
How did Crenshaw respond?
In a fiery tweet, the Republican lawmaker said, "Watching Bernie pander to different groups to get their vote has always disgusted me, but now it's personal. I didn't go to war so that you would take care of me, Bernie. I went because I wanted to serve and our country needed it."
Crenshaw's tweet has received more than 42,000 likes at the time of this writing.
What's he saying now?
Crenshaw appeared on "Fox & Friends" Thursday, where he doubled down on his social media remarks.
"On a deeper level, I have always disliked it when politicians start pandering to veterans and telling us how bad we have it, and if we just vote for them, they'll fix all of our problems," he said. "That's just not true, and it also gets to a really false choice which is why we went to war in the first place."
"I went there because our country needed it," Crenshaw added. "We went there because it was in the best interest of our country. I wasn't thinking, down the road, about being taken care of. Of course, that doesn't mean we shouldn't take care of our veterans, but this is also another falsehood that Bernie is spreading."
Crenshaw went on to point out that caring for veterans is a "bipartisan issue" that shouldn't be manipulated for political gain.
"This is a bipartisan issue, taking care of our veterans and improving the VA. We spend far more on the VA than we have in the past," he continued. "Every single year, as a delegation, as Congress, we look for ways to improve veteran care, and he knows that. What he's doing is try to rile people up. He's trying to make people angry. He's trying to tell veterans that they are victims, and that only he can take care of them. And I think that's such a dishonest way to do politics, and I think he should be called out for it."