A Republican candidate for a vacant Montana House seat was officially charged with misdemeanor assault after he reportedly body slammed a reporter for The Guardian. Greg Gianforte, who was favored for a win in the special election, set to be held today, does not get along well with the press.
An audio recording verifies that the reporter, Ben Jacobs, had pressed Gianforte on his support for the American Health Care Act that was narrowly passed by the House just over a week ago. The Congressional budget office reported yesterday that in 10 years the AHCA would cost 23 million people their health insurance, compared to the current law.
Gianforte had previously stated that since he had not read the new healthcare law, he would decline to answer questions on it. However, he was caught on tape showing he was inclined to support it. “The votes in the House are going to determine whether we get tax reform done, sounds like we just passed a health care thing, which I’m thankful for, sounds like we’re starting to repeal and replace.”
Now that there is more evidence that the AHCA is a colossal failure, the Republican candidate is getting touchy when asked about it. Audio caught his interaction with Jacobs.
“We’ll talk to you about that later,” says Gianforte.
“Yeah, but there’s not going to be time,” Jacobs replies. “I’m just curious about it right now.”
Gianforte tells Jacobs to direct the question to his spokesman. (Because why should he be asked about his own position on a major issue?)
“I’m sick and tired of you guys! The last guy that came in here did the same thing. Get the hell out of here! Get the hell out of here! The last guy did the same thing. Are you with the Guardian?”
“Yes, and you just broke my glasses,” Jacobs says.
“The last guy did the same damn thing,” Gianforte says.
“You just body-slammed me and broke my glasses,” Jacobs says.
“Get the hell out of here,” Gianforte says.
The special election is set to be held today. While there has not been an official statement from the campaign, a major newspaper for the area, The Billings Gazette, has retracted their endorsement following the incident. Gianforte may have just let his temper cost him his seat in the House.
— Billings Gazette (@billingsgazette) May 25, 2017