President Donald Trump said Thursday night in Missoula, Montana that Congressman Greg Gianforte body slamming “Guardian” reporter Ben Jacobs helped Gianforte win his special election for the state’s congressional seat.
Trump referred to Jacobs as “a reporter.” Republicans at the time tried to distance themselves from Gianforte’s bodyslam — with the RNC even scolding him in a press release announcing his victory. How’s that for irony?
Trump on Gianforte: "Any guy that can do a body slam, he is my type!" to cheers.
"I was in Rome when I heard about it, and I heard that he body slammed a reporter!" Trump said.
Trump said he was afraid it would make Gianforte lose, then he said "wait a moment, I know Montana."
— Meridith McGraw (@meridithmcgraw) October 19, 2018
So is Trump right? Did the bodyslam help?
So we arrive at a new theory: the media, when it tries to involve itself in Middle American political races, always manages to make things worse for the candidate that they support. The anti-media candidate, meanwhile, gains a new gust of momentum, courtesy of the public’s downright hatred for those mobs of carpetbagging weasels trampling over their yard signs and smirking at their values. People who didn’t care about the election one way or another all of a sudden vote for the guy getting vilified by the snobby people, because they see themselves in him. Populism is an instinct. That’s why the mainstream media is the most effective weapon patriotic Americans have to destroy the mainstream media.
Let’s look at recent history: In Montana, Don Trump Jr. stumped for House candidate Greg Gianforte in the special election for the state’s only congressional seat. Gianforte liked hunting and other traditionally American things, and so of course the media hated him, flocking to Montana to boost his Democrat opponent, who was about as important and memorable to the whole thing as Doug Jones is to the Alabama race (i.e. not at all). On the night of May 24, history was made. Gianforte, the candidate, bodyslammed a liberal reporter for the British newspaper the Guardian named Ben Jacobs. Gianforte claimed that Jacobs incited the incident, an explanation believed by some political observers familiar with Jacobs’ hyper-partisan work. But he never actually denied that he assaulted the young man, and in fact he was charged with and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault. When Jacobs’ whiny tattle-tale voice on the audiotape croaked, “You just bodyslammed me,” he was actually telling the truth. This was, more or less, an unprecedented situation in modern American politics. People called for him to drop out of the race. Fair-weather Republicans got cold feet. But then something beautiful happened. Gianforte won the election the next day.
The people of Montana, having heard the news and heard the tape, sided with the Republican who bodyslammed the liberal reporter. The bodyslam made him more appealing to the voters. Said Bozeman’s James Baker: ”A lot of reporters get aggressive. And I guess, after the heat of a long campaign, people can lose tempers. But obviously I don’t endorse it, but I think that in some cases it’s understandable even if it isn’t forgivable.” Said Kalispell’s Vaughn Warriner: “And now the night before the election, what do they do? They bring some outsider in, barges in, causes a scene, and make Gianforte look bad, when it was his fault in the first place.”
Ben Jacobs’ MSNBC “Chris Hayes” appearance did nothing to sway the good people of Montana to his cause. The good people of Montana simply hated him so much that they elected the guy who violently threw him to the ground.
Republican Greg Gianforte is projected to soundly defeat Democrat Rob Quist in Thursday’s special election for the only Montana U.S. House seat.
At press time, Gianforte held a 50.5 percent to 43.7 percent leadwith 70 percent of the precincts reporting. Gianforte had more than 136,000 votes, topping Quist by more than 18,000. A Libertarian candidate picked up 5.8 percent.
Gianforte survived a last-minute offensive by the mainstream media, which rallied around a left-wing Guardian reporter claiming that Gianforte “bodyslammed” him at a campaign event Wednesday night. No video was provided of the incident, and eyewitness reports differed on what actually happened.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, always a pinprick in any balloon of Deplorable enthusiasm, called on Gianforte to apologize.
Democrats tried to downplay expectations in the race, even though Montana has a Democratic governor and Steve Daines’ 2014 win was the first Republican Senate victory in the state since 2000.
Gianforte was boosted by the recent campaign appearance of Don Trump Jr., an avid hunter who helped galvanize crowds for the popular Republican candidate. Don Jr. was a key member of his father’s presidential campaign and looked like a stone-cold killer in the audience while his father tore apart Hillary Clinton in the second televised debate.
Trump supporters have expressed to Big League Politics their disappointment that Don Jr. did not become a White House adviser when his father got elected. Rather, his brother-in-law Jared Kushner — now a person of interest in an FBI investigation — was given a senior advisory role, despite not understanding or following through on any of the themes, attitudes, or policies that shaped the historic Trump effort.
Don Jr., the avid Deplorable and Twitter ‘Fake News’ critic, has contributed to another feel-good Republican win.
But the victory belongs to Gianforte. The defeat, meanwhile, can be shared many different ways.
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