Despite his repeated assertions that his personal wealth would make it impossible for him to be bought, Congressman Greg Gianforte sure seems willing to take campaign donations from anyone. According to his last campaign finance report, Gianforte took a max donation from Karen Marshall of Bozeman, the former officer of the Gallatin County Republicans who defended Gianforte after he assaulted reporter Ben Jacobs, saying she “would have shot him.”
From the Guardian:
“If that kid had done to me what he did to Greg, I would have shot him,” Karen Marshall, vice-president of programs for Gallatin County Republican Women told the Voice of Montana radio program on Thursday.
When Marshall made her remarks, Montana Republicans were quick to distance themselves from Marshall, though many continue to defend Gianforte to this day, blaming Ben Jacobs despite Gianforte’s guilty plea. Even Gianforte attempted to distance himself, with his spokesperson telling the Independent Record just how much he disagreed with Marshall’s remarks:
Gianforte, through a spokesman Friday, strongly denounced Marshall’s remarks.
“Greg disagrees with those remarks, repudiates them and remains focused on being a strong voice for Montana in Washington,” spokesman Travis Hall said.
As an English teacher, I’ve always enjoyed teaching students to use words like “repudiate” carefully. Merriam-Webster defines it as “to refuse to have anything to do with,” which I think is a fair guess as to what most people believed Gianforte meant when he responded to Marshall’s abhorrent remarks.
It would seem that repudiation only extended as far as a spokesman-issued response to another damaging story, not to refusing to take campaign money from someone who publicly called for murdering a reporter for asking a question.
Mr. Gianforte has never accepted real responsibility for his actions the night before the special election, never sincerely apologized, nor even explained why he lied to Montanans about that night, and never even had the one-on-one interview he promised Mr. Jacobs on the day of his sentencing.
The least someone who can loan his own campaign a million dollars without blinking could do would be to refuse to take a donation from someone who endorsed his violent act and argued that even worse action would have been justified, right? Right?
For some reason, the call screener on Gianforte’s totally legitimate telephone townhall didn’t let me ask him about this donation last night. 🙂