The term “Eyepatch McCain” became a trending topic on X Wednesday after Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) angered supporters of former President Donald Trump and his 2024 primary opponent Vivek Ramaswamy.
The issue began on Tuesday after the Colorado Supreme Court decided that Trump, who is currently the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, would no longer be on the state’s ballot. The court argued that Trump’s actions during the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, constituted insurrection, thus making him ineligible to run for public office.
In response to the ruling, fellow GOP candidate Vivek Ramaswamy vowed to withdraw himself from the Colorado ballot in what many saw as an attempt to curry favor with Trump. Crenshaw reacted to Raswamy’s announcement by calling on him to withdraw from every other state as well.
Although Ramaswamy is running against Trump, he frequently praises him and has earned support from Trump fans. Those same supporters viewed Crenshaw’s remark against Ramaswamy as downplaying the situation in Colorado and immediately went on the attack.
Trump fans have long compared Crenshaw to deceased politician John McCain, two congresspeople who served in the military but been criticized for their aggressive foreign policy stances.
Eyepatch McCaine memes
An altered photo showing his face on the head of McCain, as well as his signature eyepatch, saw the derogatory nickname go viral. The term has been used against Crenshaw for well over a year now.
The hashtag #EyepatchMcCain was also filled with other criticisms of Crenshaw, including allegations that he has used his position to aid him in the stock market.
“Oh look Uniparty Spokesperson Eyepatch McCain takes a break from picking stocks to attack Ramaswamy, seems racist,” one user sarcastically said.
Even Ramaswamy himself took a swipe at Crenshaw by bringing up the stock trading allegations.
“Maybe Congressmen shouldn’t be allowed to trade individual stocks,” he said.
The viral moment was also celebrated by progressives on X, who saw the incident as evidence of destructive infighting among the Republican Party.
“Every time ‘Eyepatch McCain’ trends, we are reminded that Republicans have zero regard for our military, law enforcement & our Constitution,” one user wrote. “They aren’t pro-life, they aren’t ‘the party of family values,’ they are MAGAt extremists still bitter that their kin lost the Civil War.”
Some even noted how conservatives expressed outrage in 2018 after Crenshaw was mocked by comedian Pete Davidson on Saturday Night Live for the eyepatch.
“Remember when all those on the Right were upset about SNL & defended Dan Crenshaw?” another user asked. “The moment he says something not in line, they call him ‘Eyepatch McCain.’ This is why no one takes you seriously, laughs at you or both.”
Crenshaw has repeatedly drawn the ire of conservatives for refusing to fall in lockstep behind Trump.
The Supreme Court could overturn Colorado’s decision, although it remains to be seen whether it will take up the case.