I’m not sure where Republican candidates go to find their grainy stock footage of gang members to produce their ads—maybe Russ Fagg offered Greg Gianforte a discount to recycle his—but in his opening ad for the Congressional campaign, Gianforte, rather than attempting to convince Montanans he’s done good work for them, fell back on the racist appeals that seem to be at the heart of Montana Republicans candidates.
The ad is classic Gianforte: a moment of leaning on a farm fence before launching into a litany of misleading claims about his opponent, Kathleen Williams. Williams, according to Gianforte, supports “OPEN BORDERS” and will vote to “ABOLISH ICE” in support of Nancy Pelosi. None of the claims are supported by statements Williams has made, nor positions she supports. In fact, Williams released her own ad saying that she’d vote for a new speaker and not support Pelosi, another truth that matters less to Gianforte than his poll-tested criticism of the former Speaker of the House.
Gianforte is a canker sore on Montana politics, a deeply dishonest, violent, and racist candidate who has run for governor on a platform of demonizing refugee children, who has insulted our Native communities, and now who seems to think the issue that’s most important to Montanans is demagoguing on immigration with racist appeals.
As a Christian and member of Congress, Gianforte has been conspicuously silent on children being ripped from their parents and sexual abuse at immigrant detention centers, but he won’t shut up about fear mongering, xenophobic efforts to encourage hatred and violence against immigrants. He was also silent about donating to white supremacists as well, but given the direction of his campaigns, that’s hardly surprising.
It’s awfully disheartening that the leading Montana Republican candidates for office believe that we are so racist in this beautiful state that we’ll ignore policy, ignore their records (voting and criminal), and ignore their refusal to meet with us if only they show us misleading footage about immigrants and scream about the borders.
Let’s let the thug from New Jersey know that he still doesn’t understand who we are.