The Republican National Committee (RNC) scolded Congressman-elect Greg Gianforte in their statement announcing his victory in Thursday’s Montana special election.
Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, Mitt Romney’s niece, did not even congratulate Gianforte on his victory, and only mentioned him at the end of her tersely worded statement.
Gianforte, a favorite among Trump supporters, garnered both Democratic and establishment Republican scorn during the campaign, which came to a fever pitch when Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs accused Gianforte of “bodyslamming” him at a campaign event Wednesday night. Gianforte and Jacobs offered different accounts of the incident, and eyewitnesses offered different accounts in turn.
“Tonight Montanans spoke and chose to send a conservative voice to Washinton. Once again, voters responded to President Trump’s call to protect the hard work this administration has done to reform a burdensome tax code, cut onerous regulations, and relieve hardworking taxpayers across the country from the rising costs of Obamacare,” McDaniel stated early Friday morning.
“Congressman-elect Greg Gianforte was right to apologize for his actions in Wednesday’s incident. Tonight’s apology was a good first step toward redemption and I hope Gianforte continues to work toward righting his wrong,” McDaniel said.
Not exactly celebratory.
Republican establishment figures including Bill Kristol and Ben Shapiro joined in the mainstream media’s condemnation of Gianforte. House Speaker Paul Ryan called on Gianforte to apologize prior to the election.
But despite the controversy, Gianforte’s Deplorable base came out in droves, handing him an easy victory with the help of his friend Don Trump Jr.