After being charged with allegedly assaulting reporter, Gianforte wins Montana House seat
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 26, 2017,
May 26, 2017, 15:04
"I'm sick and exhausted of you guys! Who would wanna vote for that?" asked Jenny Bevill, a teacher from Whitefish.
"There is no time where a physical altercation should occur", the Wisconsin Republican told reporters.
Gianforte campaigned as a gun-loving Montanan endorsed by the National Rifle Association to build his credibility among hunting enthusiasts and to motivate gun rights activists to vote. For that I'm sorry.
Debbie Warriner of Kalispell called the reports "a crock of baloney".
"That's not the person I am and it's not the way I'll lead in this state", he continued.
Gianforte's campaign issued a statement offering a starkly contrasting account, saying the incident took place when the candidate was giving a separate interview in a private office.
Gianforte broke his silence at his victory celebration Thursday night, where he apologized to Jacobs. According to three Fox News reporters who were in the room preparing for an interview with the GOP nominee, Gianforte "grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground. then began punching the reporter".
In the hours since the alleged assault, Democrats and Quist supporters moved to capitalize on the charges against Gianforte.
"The Guardian's Ben Jacobs entered the office without permission, aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg's face, and began asking badgering questions", the statement said. The candidate was not in custody or under arrest at the time.
According to reporters on the scene, as Gootkin left the press conference, he ignored a question about whether he voted for Gianforte.
"All of a sudden, what happened there in Montana, apparently this snowflake reporter invaded Gianforte's safe space", O'Neill said.
"If you have somebody sticking a phone in your face, a mic in your face, over and over, and you don't know how to deal with the situation, you haven't really done that, you haven't dealt with that, I can see where it can ... make you a little angry", he said.
Gootkin said he never considered pursuing a felony charge against Greg Gianforte based on evidence collected after the Wednesday incident.
The sheriff who cited a Montana congressional candidate for misdemeanor assault has apologized for not disclosing that he contributed $250 to the Republican's campaign. We wouldn't condone it if it happened in a home or even a late-night bar fight. He got on me and I think he hit me. "I think he wailed on me once or twice".
Carlos Lauria of the nonprofit Committee to Protect Journalists wouldn't draw parallels between the USA political climate and what happened in Montana.
"The attack in Montana is only the crudest and most visible expression of the rising hostility toward the media", Jonathan Turley, a constitutional law expert at George Washington University, wrote in an email. But part of the job representing the people of Montana is answering basic questions on important topics, topics such as how a risky healthcare plan could impact the very people you are trying to represent. "It's part of the job", Montana Sen. "Donald Trump's his model", she said.
CORRECTION (May 25, 2017, 8:10 a.m.): An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that President Donald Trump visited Montana to support Greg Gianforte's campaign.
The controversial legislation had become a key point in the contest, with Quist - a quasi-famous folk singer in the state - seizing upon it as he looked to build resistance to Trump and the Republican agenda in a solidly red state the president carried by 20 points last November. The Committee called for Gianforte to quit the race and for the Republican Party to denounce him publicly.