GOP Montana win may be blip in Democrats' anti-Trump hopes

GOP Montana win may be blip in Democrats' anti-Trump hopes

Gianforte won the House seat vacated by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, besting his opponent Rob Quist with just over 50 percent of the vote.

More than 30 hours after he allegedly body-slammed a Guardian reporter in Bozeman, Gianforte publicly apologized to Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs in his acceptance speech.

Greg Gianforte apologized late Thursday for attacking a reporter who had asked about the GOP health care bill.

Witnesses, including a Fox News crew, said Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck and slammed him to the ground while yelling "Get the hell out of here!"

Gianforte was later charged with misdemeanor assault, which will not prevent him from being seated in the House even if he is convicted.

Montana Republican Greg Gianforte (r.) caused national uproar when he was arrested for getting physical with Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs on the eve of the state's special election.

Gianforte had to silence his crowd of supporters to apologize.

"When you make a mistake, you have to own up to it", he said. "That's the Montana way".

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"Last night I made a mistake and I took an action that I can't take back", he said. I should not have responded the way I did. I should not have treated that reporter that way, and for that I am sorry, Mr.

Already, Montana's freaky special election and Gianforte's win are being cast as a referendum on events in Washington and a projection of what's to come.

After the altercation Wednesday, Gianforte's campaign issued a statement blaming the reporter. "He might have muttered his name once or twice when he was running against me and now he wants to "drain the swamp" and says, 'I want to be with Trump every step of the way'".

"Donald Trump is his model", Pelosi said.

Even if he were found guilty and served the maximum sentence-six months in Montana-Gianforte could still serve in Congress.

The Montana state Democratic Party asserted that the special election was too early to expect voters to make a complete reversal on the party they supported in 2016. "That was a thing, a real thing that happened, and we still said, 'Yeah, he should be president'". Democratic candidate Quist received 93.7% of Hillary Clinton's November vote total.

Democratic attacks against Gianforte centered around an easement disagreement he had with the state over a boundary along the East Gallatin River, which Democrats used to paint Gianforte as against public lands. Democrats were initially hopeful that he'd appeal to Montana's right-leaning voters who have a history of electing Democratic mavericks.

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