Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte lost multiple newspaper endorsements in Montana after he was cited for assault on the eve of Thursday’s election.
Gianforte was charged Wednesday with misdemeanor assault after he allegedly threw Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs to the ground and punched him. Multiple.
“In the past, he has encouraged his supporters to boycott certain newspapers, singled out a reporter in a room to point out that he was outnumbered, and even made a joke out of the notion of choking a news writer, and these are not things we can continue to brush off,” the Independent Record wrote.
The Missoulian's editorial also cited the fact that Gianforte’s outburst came in response to a question about the Republican replacement legislation for the 2010 health care law and was indicative of his general unfitness for the office.
“He showed Wednesday night that he lacks the experience, brains and abilities to effectively represent Montana in any elected office,” the editorial said.
The Billings Gazette said the incident was not just about an attack on the press, but that if the recording is accurate, then it is nothing short of physical assault.
“We wouldn’t condone it if it happened on the street. We wouldn’t condone it if it happened in a home or even a late-night bar fight. And we couldn’t accept it from a man who is running to become Montana’s lone Congressional representative,” the editorial said.
Earlier Wednesday, Gianforte cut an ad touting the endorsements from the three papers.