As the day starts today, many in Montana are getting ready to head to the polls and vote for a new Representative to fill the vacancy created by Ryan Zinke’s appointment as the 52nd United States Secretary of the Interior. While the race was already expected to be tight, as Democrats are expected to turn out in protest over Trump, the Republican candidate Greg Gianforte may have just handed the election to his opponent Rob Quist.
On the eve of the election, Gianforte basically body-slammed Ben Jacobs, a political reporter for The Guardian, breaking his glasses, all in front of multiple Fox News staff. If such behavior seems outlandish and almost insane for someone who was a slight favorite in today’s election, then the reason behind the move will seem even crazier.
According to those in the room and Jacobs himself, Gianforte became enraged after Jacobs approached him at a meet-and-greet and asked him his opinion on the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the American Health Care Act.
“We’ll talk to you about that later,” said Gianforte. Jacobs then calmly asked again as Gianforte referred him to a spokesman, saying “I’m sick and tired of you guys. The last guy who came in here did the same thing. Get the hell out of here!”
That’s when Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck and slammed him to the ground. While Jacobs may have been pursuing his question in an aggressive way, it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for reporters, according to those who witnessed the ordeal. One would imagine that someone running for office would be used to such aggression and know how to deal with it in a respectful manner.
The underlying question which sparked these actions may be even more important than the actions themselves. Gianforte would rather commit second-degree assault on a reporter than answer a simple question about the American Health Care Act’s CBO score. The Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the bill showed that 23 million Americans would likely lose healthcare over the next 9 years if such a bill were to be voted into law. The audio of the whole ordeal can be heard below: