Eli Crane Talks Political Outsider Status, Battling GOP Leadership


Republican Rep. Eli Crane joined “The Kevin Roberts Show” Wednesday to discuss the southern border, challenging the Republican leadership in the House, and how he feels out of place in Washington, D.C. 

The congressman told host and Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts that the voters of Arizona’s 2nd District picked an uncommon person to represent them in Congress. “This guy doesn’t have any experience. He’s got a lot of tattoos. He often wears a ball cap on the campaign trail, but I think this guy might be a little—I think he might actually do what he says,” noted Crane. 

He also said that he feels out of place in Washington because he often stands up against Republican leadership on certain issues. 

One such issue was aid to Ukraine. Crane said that a congressional aid package to the European nation was “stoking the fires” of the conflict. He even expressed concern that one possible scenario resulting from promoting Ukraine could be that Russia feels pushed toward “taking out some of our American cities” with its nuclear arsenal. 

The congressman further acknowledged his distance at times from congressional leadership, saying that many Washington leaders seem to care more about a foreign war than the challenges Americans face today, such as the increasing burdens of illegal immigration. 

Texas is currently in a legal battle against the Biden administration for control of a makeshift border wall topped with barbed wire. The administration is attempting to remove the Texas-built wall, drawing ire from numerous Republican governors who support Texas’ efforts to stem the tide of illegal crossings. 

“Walls work,” Crane said. “There’s a reason why prisons have them, schools have them, you have them at your home.”  

The congressman also said that he came to Washington to “shake things up,” even if that means voting to oust the speaker of the House. The congressman was one of eight representatives in October 2023 who voted to remove Kevin McCarthy from the speakership. 

Kevin McCarthy is plotting his revenge against those of us that took him out,” Crane said on the podcast.  

He said he wasn’t worried about the political fallout, though. In fact, Crane said, “We need more people up here [Washington] … that are willing to shake things up, and that are willing to put their political careers on the line.” 

“We need people coming up here that aren’t afraid to buck the system,” the congressman said. 

Crane also mentioned one other reason he feels like he doesn’t fit in here in Washington—one that may resonate with the average man: “I hate wearing a suit!” 

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