House Republicans kept a seat and gained a headache in the Montana special election Thursday.
Their candidate, tech entrepreneur Greg Gianforte, displayed a serious lack of impulse control and a brazen lack of honesty when he physically attacked a reporter on the day before the election.
One might even question the intelligence of a politician who fabricated an account of an incident that was captured by the victim’s audio recorder and witnessed by a television news crew. That evidence made it clear that his version was pure hogwash.
Still, Giganforte won with slightly more than 50 percent of the vote, defeating Democrat Rob Quist at 44 percent.
We may never know the extent of the good people of Montana’s disgust with the thug they are sending to Congress. A majority of the votes already had been sent by mail before Gianforte’s day of rage.
His apology to the Guardian reporter, Ben Jacobs, did not come until after the results were in. He acknowledged that he “made a mistake” and promised not to embarrass the state again.
The congressman-elect has been charged with misdemeanor assault and has been ordered to appear at the Gallatin County Courthouse on June 7.
President Trump congratulated Gianforte for a “great win in Montana” Vice President Mike Pence tweeted his kudos for a “great win and gracious speech.” Neither said a word about the assault.
Such is the sorry state of leadership in Donald Trump’s America.
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