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Montana voters body-slam Republican who attacked reporter into office

Photo: Janie Osborne / Getty Images

Providing credence to the theory that the GOP’s self-proclaimed “family values” platform was written from the viewpoint of an abusive parent, CNN reports that Montana voters have shoved Greg Gianforte—the Republican congressional candidate who body-slammed a reporter for asking him a question about health care on Wednesday night—into office. Gianforte is currently facing assault charges for the attack, but that didn’t matter to Montana Republicans, who elected Gianforte to the congressional seat vacated by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke with 50.3 percent of the vote. (Democratic singing cowboy Rob Quist got 43.9 percent, and Libertarian Mark Wicks 5.7 percent.) A few voters called the Montana Secretary of State’s office asking if they could change their vote after Gianforte hulked out, according to Vice, only to be told it wasn’t possible.

Gianforte reportedly apologized to Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs by name in his acceptance speech, because it’s better to attack now and apologize later than to take responsibility for the devastating effects your party’s policies will have on your most vulnerable constituents. “When you make a mistake, you have to own up to it,” Gianforte said. “That’s the Montana way.” He added that he was “not proud” of his behavior, and that, “I should not have responded the way I did, for that I’m sorry. I should not have treated that reporter that way, and for that I’m sorry, Mr. Ben Jacobs.”


CNN says that the crowd responded by shouting, “you’re forgiven,” although in its report The Washington Post describes a more chilling reaction of derisive laughter and cries of, “not in our minds!” when Gianforte said throwing Jacobs to the ground and breaking his glasses was a mistake. So, if you’re keeping score at home, that means that now both physical and sexual assault have been removed as barriers for entry into public office as far as Republican voters are concerned. And with role models like these, it’s no wonder:

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