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Ryan: Gianforte Incident Not 'Acceptable Behavior,' But Choice Up to Montana

26 May, 2017, 09:59 | Author: Lloyd Doyle

Two days before the Montana Special Election, gamblers on the website Predictit.org were giving Greg Gianforte 80 to 20 odds to win, but after assault charges were filed against Gianforte, his stock dropped significantly. "And this is your reaction?" he said on MSNBC. But she said her vote for Gianforte was about affirming the Republican platform.

The Gianforte campaign released a statement, saying that Jacobs entered a private office without permission.

The case of a Montana congressional candidate accused of body-slamming a reporter is being blamed by some media watchers on a wave of hostility toward journalists that President Donald Trump helped generate.

The statement contended that he "aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg's face and began asking badgering questions" before being asked to leave the office they were in.

Several outlets, including the Associated Press, projected that Gianforte would defeat his Democratic rival, Rob Quist, in a race to fill the seat of Ryan Zinke, who resigned to become Secretary of the Interior.

The Guardian posted audio of the incident that occurred on Wednesday and a Fox News crew that had set up in the room where it took place provided eyewitness accounts. "I know he has his own version, and I'm sure he's going to have more to say, but there's no call for this, no matter what, under any circumstance", he said.

"There's never a call for physical altercations", Ryan (R-Wisconsin) told reporters on Thursday.

Tina Olechowski says Quist was making the rounds across the state to thank volunteers and was on his way to Missoula on Wednesday when the altercation involving Republican Greg Gianforte happened. "It's unfortunate that that's how it has to play out, but the goal here is still to win the election".


Rep. Steve Stivers of OH, who chairs the House GOP campaign committee, said: "From what I know of Greg Gianforte, this was totally out of character, but we all make mistakes". In other words, Jacobs had brazenly dared to report and that was out of line.

Jacobs was trying to ask Gianforte about health care, according to an audio tape captured by the British newspaper's correspondent.

But as Politico pointed out, Trump hasn't been much of a factor in the Montana special election for Democrats, and Gianforte had no problem showing off his ties to the president. Others declined to express discomfort with the possibility that their newest colleague will have been so recently charged with assault. "Jacobs grabbed Greg's wrist and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground".

At least three newspapers, the Helena Independent Record, the Missoulian and the Billings Gazette, pulled their endorsements of Gianforte in the wake of the incident. Gianforte has strongly embraced Trump throughout the campaign, and the race has been watched closely for signs of whether Democrats can make inroads in GOP areas ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. But Ryan stopped short of calling for Gianforte to drop out of the race or threatening not to seat him if he is elected.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin said four witnesses were being interviewed. Authorities said Jacobs' injuries weren't severe enough for a felony assault charge.

Gianforte himself has not spoken publicly about the incident since a spokesman issued a brief statement a little after the news broke at about 5pm yesterday.

With more than a third of ballots having been cast during early voting, it is unclear what kind of effect the incident will have on Gianforte's chances on Thursday - something Bullock acknowledged in his statement.

Thursday's special election for Montana's sole congressional seat got a last-minute twist when the Republican candidate, Greg Gianforte, was charged with misdemeanor assault.

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