The Gianfortes Used Tim Fox’s Cancer Against Him as a Political Weapon

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The amazing thing about Greg Gianforte is that the man just keeps managing to sink lower in his desperate bid to buy the governor’s office in the state of Montana. Last night, Attorney General Tim Fox made public what has been rumored since the beginning of the campaign: that Gianforte used Tim Fox’s cancer diagnosis and recovery as a weapon in their primary.

From Tim Fox last night:

Fox also accused Gianforte of trying to dissuade Fox’s supporters by telling them that Fox has cancer and might get sick while in the governor’s office.

“That’s appalling and it’s certainly not Montana,” Fox said. “Montanans know better, congressman.”

And in what can only be described as serendipitous timing, the Montana Standard ran an op-ed this morning from a Montana doctor confirming the charge and adding the twist that Gianforte’s wife delivered the attack to another Tim Fox supporter.

From the op-ed by Doctor R.D. Marks:

A few weeks later, I got a call … not from the congressman but from his wife, Susan, regarding my response to his request for me supporting him. I reiterated my prior comments and reassured her that I was not interested in supporting her husband. At the time, she asked, “Well, what about Tim’s health?”

I was taken back. I knew, and Tim has been open about the fact that he is a cancer survivor, so it’s not a big secret; but, to have it thrown up as an issue to change my mind about who I was going to support seemed as a very “Eastern Politics” approach and certainly not the Montana way. I said that in so many words and that my support for Tim Fox would continue.

If this story gains the traction it deserves, one can already predict the response. Gianforte will deny it, and his campaign will call Attorney General Fox and Dr. Marks liars because that is what Gianforte does when he is confronted with his own indefensible behavior.

Over and over again, Gianforte lies to defend his shameful behavior.

  • When the Gianforte campaign was called out for trying to bully Dr. Al Olszweski out of the gubernatorial race, they lied about it.
  • When Gianforte was called about by Republicans for promising budget-busting tax cuts, they called those Republicans liars.
  • When Gianforte was caught lying about his assets in a blind trust, his Congressional staff and campaign called people reporting the truth dishonest.
  • When Gianforte blocked public access near Bozeman, he called the reporters who covered the story and the Bullock campaign dishonest.
  • When Gianforte was called out in 2016 for having supported a sales tax, he lied about it, even though there was audio and written testimony of him calling a sales “an ideal solution.”
  • When Gianforte assaulted Ben Jacobs, he lied about it, and said that Jacobs had initiated the conflict.
  • When Gianforte was interviewed by law enforcement, he lied again.

I suppose that it’s possible that everyone around Greg Gianforte– lifelong Montana Republicans, reporters, bloggers, law enforcement officers, and government officials doing their job—lies, but isn’t more likely that the person in the center of these lies is the one telling them?

The man simply cannot be trusted to tell the truth, and the latest news about his campaign’s despicable attacks against Attorney General Tim Fox demonstrate that he can’t even be trusted to be a decent human being.

I don’t agree with Tim Fox on much, but he used his cancer diagnosis and recovery to help educate other Montanans about keeping themselves healthy. Greg Gianforte used it to demonstrate the moral rot and sickness at his core.

Even with his lies, Greg Gianforte keeps telling us exactly who he is. Let’s listen to him.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.


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  • Mr Gianforte is zealously following the teachings of his confederate President. Truth? How good are Truth’s ratings? I hear from a lot of people that Greg is preparing to accuse Mr. Fox of being born in Kenya, and ineligible to hold office.

  • Doug, the style of this writing indicates you’re not the author. Care to share where you lifted these GOP talking points?

  • Perhaps that is because until just recently, they have had more testing capability, ya think??

    Like many other blue state governors, Mr. Bullock had more difficulty obtaining sufficient tests, because he wasn’t a Trump administration syncophant. Both North and South Dakota have Republican governors, and Trump instructed his staff to show preference to red states. Fact.

    Religious exemptions should have no bearing whatsoever on public health and safety! There was no need to make special provisions for worship, as most religious institutions transferred over to digital services, reaching far more people than in-person attendance. Paraphrasing the recent astute observation of one prominent pastor: “God gave us free will, but not to be stupid. Stay home – stay safe.”

    You seem to put a partisan spin on everything, – mark1 with a small “m”.

  • The most interesting thing about this is that every accusation is second-hand from Gianforte opponents. His 30% cuts of education, from a political opponent who swears he said it at a fundraiser. Fox’s cancer? From someone who is supporting his opponent. You have SEVEN more things you claimed he lied about here, and links to nothing to support any of them.
    We all got to hear the audio of Gianforte body-slamming a reporter and audio was even found of him making a joke in his church, which was then extrapolated to be his “position” on Social Security.
    I know you outright hate the guy and make hundreds a month to spread your own hatred, but at the very least in an age of everyone having a microphone/camera in their pocket, is this really the best evidence you can provide? I don’t think most voters take seriously the 2nd hand claims from political opponents who are down 30 points in the polls a week before ballots are mailed, but *shrug* if it keeps your blood boiling, self-righteousness going and the Patreon coming in, don’t let things like evidence get in your way.
    Fox isn’t the smartest cookie in the jar. He ran against literally nobody in 2016 and took his 67% win as some kind of mandate. If he were a smarter man he’d be challenging Corey and Matt in the House race. He’d be an infinitely better Congressman than either of those two, yet his 8 years in Helena has narrowed his vision to the point of irrelevancy. Also, it’s a bit hilarious to hear you clutch your pearls over Tim Fox’s possible cancer when it’s been 4 years straight of questioning Trump’s mental faculties and imploring his cabinet to remove him from officer via the 25th Amendment. Perhaps you can point me to some post on here where you scold liberals for what you’re accusing Gianforte of doing right now?
    Quite the opposite. Here’s your own promotion of sales of a book endorsing full of removal of Trump from office, which even admits it violates the most sacred tenants of health care, including consent of patients and privacy of health information. It’s a bit hard to keep your values straight when they change to just be whatever method is appropriate as long as it’s someone I don’t like. Today questioning someone’s fitness for office is a “weapon” from someone “sinking low” but less than two years ago it was “deeply troubling” to NOT try and violate medical ethics and the will of Americans to remove Trump.

    • I don’t even know where to begin with this, but I’ll try.

      Half a dozen Montana Republican elected officials and retired elected officials have said that he called for the 30% tax cut. You could believe they are all lying, but I believe them.

      It’s possible that Tim Fox and a Republican doctor who once supported GG are lying, but why would they? Are really accusing Tim Fox of making this up? A practicing doctor?

      I literally don’t know what you’re saying about the assault, except that Gianforte did, in fact, lie to the press, the public, and law enforcement about it. He did. It’s incontrovertible that he did.

      I don’t hate Greg Gianforte. I don’t hate anyone. I just love my state and know what he’ll do to it.

      As for the Trump non sequitur, I don’t think you understand medical ethics. That person is not Trump’s doctor.

      • Block again, I think this is about the 5th or 6th time. LOL

        Challenge, name 5 bad things/legislation/regulations that Greg has done since he has been in office. You can add Steve Daines too. Allegations of Lying, racist, racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and Islamophobic doesn’t mean squat to me. Results matter. I could do this very easy for Tester or Bullock.

        • You’re not blocked, troll. I just marked your plagiarized comments as spam.

          Counter-challenge. Use the search function here and find what you’re looking for.

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