GOP Civil War: With Less Than A Week Until the Primary, Montana Republicans Tear Each Other Apart
The Montana primary is less than a week away – and the GOP candidates aren’t holding back. State Sen. Al Olszewski and Attorney General Tim Fox have consistently warned Montanans of the danger of Greg Gianforte’s candidacy, whose unpopularity is tearing the party apart.
Republicans who view Gianforte as a uniquely dangerous figure are openly criticizing his dirty campaign tactics like using Fox’s cancer diagnosis as a reason to vote against him. And it doesn’t end there. Here’s a timeline:
- January 23rd, 2020 – Sparks fly at the first GOP debate featuring all three candidates. Both Al Olszewski and Tim Fox take shots at Gianforte. Olszewski says “I will not be bullied, bought, or body-slammed out of this race,” in reference to Gianforte’s famous assaulting-a-reporter incident, which he lied to the police about.
- January 29th, 2020 – Fox calls Gianforte a “polarizing figure who has demonstrated an inability to win the governor’s office, despite spending $6 million of his own money.”
- March 31, 2020 – Fox releases ad attacking Gianforte for being an out of state millionaire forcing his values onto Montanans. “Montanans rejected New Jersey millionaire Greg Gianforte in 2016 and they’ll do it again in 2020.”
- April 6th, 2020 – Fox says it would be impossible for a candidate with negatives like Gianforte to win a general election.
- April 9th, 2020 – Fox campaign accuses Gianforte of insider trading and financing his campaign with profits made from the coronavirus pandemic.
- May 2nd, 2020 – At a virtual debate featuring all three candidates, Tim Fox steps up his attacks on Greg Gianforte, saying: “You’ve ducked debates and forums, refused interviews with the press, avoided open public meetings and tough questions, and instead, used your considerable wealth to try to buy this election instead of earning those votes.”
- May 3rd, 2020 – A Republican voter writes a letter in the Billings Gazette describing how Susan Gianforte tried to use Fox’s cancer diagnosis to persuade a voter to not support Fox.
- May 19th, 2020 – Tim Fox describes Greg Gianforte as “a toxic political figure who is trying to buy the race.”
“With less than a week until the primary, Tim Fox’s and Greg Gianforte’s attacks are more in line with the politics coming out of D.C. than Montana. It’s an all-out brawl that’s not reflective of the state’s values,” said DGA National Press Secretary Jerusalem Demsas. “This infighting will leave the Montana GOP deeply divided heading into the general — if Gianforte can’t even unify his own party, how can he hope to unify Montana?”