Thursday morning the DCCC’s Independent Expenditure released a new round of digital ads with audio from Republican Greg Gianforte’s violent assault on a Guardian reporter.
The ad packs a powerful punch, courtesy of Gianforte’s actual punch:
What happens when you ask Greg Gianforte a question?
GREG GIANFORTE: “I’m sick and tired of you guys. The last time you came here you did the same thing. Get the hell out of here!”
“Fox News witness says Gianforte slammed reporter to ground, punched him in the face.” Missoulian, 5/24/17
“National reporter hospitalized” KPAX, 5/24/17
“Gianforte charged with election eve assault” Bozeman Daily Chronicle, 5/24/17
Charged with a crime.
No business being in Congress.
Issue One has kept track of the money invested in Montana’s sole congressional district between Republican Greg Gianforte against Democrat Rob Quist. They listed the money in an email sent to PoliticusUSA:
- $6.75 million is the total amount that outside groups have spent in the race.
- $17 million is the approximate amount that has been pumped into the race between Republican Greg Gianforte and Democrat Rob Quist.
- $6 million is the amount Democrat Rob Quist’s campaign says it has raised, mostly from small-dollar donations.
- $5 million is the amount national Republicans have invested into the race, through the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), Republican National Committee (RNC) and Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC.
- $4 million is the approximate amount Republican Greg Gianforte’s campaign has raised.
- $1.5 million is the amount Republican Greg Gianforte, a multimillionaire, has loaned his campaign.
- 85 percent is the portion of outside spending that has been negative.
- 78 percent is the portion of outside spending that has attacked Democrat Rob Quist.
- 5-to-1 is the ratio of spending by the NRCC on independent expenditures in the race compared to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).
- 3 is the number of GOP organizations that account for about three-fourths of the outside spending in the race.
Seventy-eight percent of the outside spending has attacked Democrat Rob Quist. That’s a lot of negativity to overcome, even for a man who assaults reporters who ask him about a bad CBO report for the GOP health care plan. (Hint: This will happen a lot in the job Gianforte is running for. His reaction to being asked policy questions says “not a good fit” at the very least.)
“Last night, Greg Gianforte disqualified himself from the honor of representing Montanans in congress. Gianforte has been charged with assault – his only option at this point is to accept responsibility and end his campaign. As he continues to lay low and hope people don’t see the news, the DCCC will do everything possible to make sure Montanans know the truth,” said Meredith Kelly of the DCCC in a statement sent to PoliticusUSA.
Even though Montana is a very red state and even though Trump carried it by 21 points and even though Republicans seem to like it when their candidates assault people, this is not a good event for the Republican Party. There are people who find this kind of criminal behavior unseemly, and they are the people the Republican Party needs to attract.
Sure, this might help Gianforte locally but it also might hurt him. In the bigger picture, though, this isn’t helping Republicans, and neither is their justification of Gianforte’s violence. The DCCC is simply going to make sure that as many people as possible hear the audio, so they know exactly what the GOP stands for nationally.
This ad isn’t just about the special election contest tonight. This ad is about branding the Republican Party for their lack of moral leadership and Trumpian thug behavior.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.