The Republican candidate for tomorrow’s special election for Montana’s sole House of Representatives seat just took an unexpected turn.
Greg Gianforte, the Koch and Trump-backed millionaire from New Jersey, just assaulted Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs for asking him to comment on the Congressional Budget Office’s report on the Trumpcare 2.0 bill, which Gianforte publicly has not endorsed but has applauded in his calls with Washington healthcare lobbyists.
It should also be noted that Jacobs is the reporter who broke the story revealing that Gianforte owns $250,000 worth of shares in Russian companies sanctioned by the government.
Gianforte’s campaign has just released a statement on the incident, which in typical Republican fashion, blames the reporter for provoking the violence and for initiating contact.
Gianforte's statement: pic.twitter.com/WVNdA1yZ8w
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) May 25, 2017
Of course, the audio of the incident has already leaked to the press, and it tells a very different story.
Here is the a
In the audio, Gianforte screams “I’m sick and tired of you guys! The last guy that came to me did the same thing! Get the hell out of here!”
It’s safe to say that this assault should have a huge effect on the special election tomorrow. Republican groups have poured millions of dollars in dark money to defeat Bernie Sanders-backed Democrat Robert Quist, who has been running a tight race with Gianforte. This may just put him over the edge.
But on a grander scale, this is what Trump’s America looks like. Millionaires running for back-country political offices to rule over like their own personal fiefdom, buoyed by lobbyists and dirty dollars and exhibiting with no respect for our free press.
It’s safe to say he may have punched his own ticket to a loss tomorrow.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.