Montana Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte was cited for assault Wednesday evening, just one day before the special election for the House seat he is vying to assume. Gianforte, who is running against Democrat Rob Quist for the congressional seat vacated by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, allegedly assaulted Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs at a campaign event Wednesday evening.
Now, top conservatives are urging the party to back away from Gianforte, despite the race for what should be a deep-red seat being surprisingly tight. Weekly Standard editor-at-large Bill Kristol said Republican lawmakers should criticize Gianforte for the overall health of the party:
Longtime GOP strategist Rick Wilson said Gianforte's conduct reflected the devolution of the Republican Party into the "Trump Troll Party":
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, who admitted Thursday morning that the current GOP is not the party he "grew up in," threw in a quip about the terrible optics of the whole thing: