In a few months, when the anemic Tim Fox and quixotic Al Olszewski campaigns for governor fade into the obscurity that characterizes most failed bids for office, we’re going to be left with Greg Gianforte as the Republican candidate and a whole lot of bitterness from the candidates that opposed him. Already, Fox and Olszewski have had surrogates cry to the press because Gianforte has been campaigning among Republicans and the bitter wailing will only increase once he brings his personal fortune to bear, but the next eight months promise an increasing number of delicious bites of bitterness from these soon-to-be-vanquished candidates.
While there will always be critical comments thrown around in a primary, some of these are going to wound, and the campaign surrogates making them may come to regret them in a party increasing dominated by the Bozeman cabal running the Montana GOP.
Take these comments by Joey Chester, Communications Director for Olszewski, for instance.
Of Gianforte, he said, he
“scored an F from Liberty Review and a D from the American Conservative Union Foundation. Greg says one thing in Montana and votes another way in Washington.”
In another comment, he accused Gianforte of buying endorsements:
“Greg Gianforte has bought endorsements, votes, and generally believes he can buy an election.”
In a comment stunning for its strategic brilliance, he argued that Gianforte made Bozeman into a Democratic stronghold, arguing that his bid for offices should be rejected:
“Now his power hungry race for governor. Greg is also responsible for turning Bozeman blue by starting his company.”
Ouch. That kind of talk probably makes Gianforte regret donating to Chester’s bid for the Montana Legislature in 2018, although given that Gianforte didn’t express any real regret about donating to white supremacists, perhaps not.
And it’s going to be awkward for Republicans on June 3, 2020, when they’re going to pretend they haven’t said all these things—things we all know to be true—about Gianforte: that he believes his money entitles him to public office, that he can misrepresent the truth and himself to win votes, that he’d even buy them to satiate his thirst for power.
The next eight months are going to be excellent in at least one way: the Republicans who pretend they like and respect Greg Gianforte are going to speak the truth about him, and we’ll be documenting what they have to say.
Perhaps the truth will keep us all free of the Gianforte nightmare.