Sandy Rios Defends Greg Gianforte’s Assault On ‘Girly-Man’ Reporter Ben Jacobs

On her radio show today, the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios dismissed reports that Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte assaulted Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs yesterday, despite audio of the altercation and several eyewitnesses, saying that the entire thing “sounds very grade school playground-y” and lamenting that men no longer just settle things by fighting.

“I’m sure Ben Jacobs is probably delighted about what he caused to happen,” Rios said, adding that Gianforte’s response was understandable given how “aggressive” and “rude” members of the press are.

“Do you have no rights at all to fight back?” she asked, reminiscing about old movies in which the men would constantly “get in fights with each other.”

“I remember when men used to actually settle things between themselves,” she said, “but now, in this culture, if you respond with any kind of anger, that’s a terrible thing.”

“Has something been lost in us becoming maybe over the line in terms of every touch, every glance, every attempt at settling a circumstance is punishable by law?” she wondered, saying the Gianforte/Jacobs altercation “all sounds very grade school playground-y, the kids that go, ‘He hit me.’ That what [Jacobs] sounded like to me.”

Rios insisted that Gianforte was understandably angry because Jacobs “had already printed so many bad things” about him, saying that she doesn’t expect to learn anything about the incident that will ever make her think that “Gianforte is a terrible person and I’m glad he didn’t win.”

“There is a natural anger that comes when someone invades your space and abuses their ability to do what it is they’re doing, they’ve gone across a line,” she continued, again lamenting that “we’ve lost some ability to settle things on our own by having this kind of girly-man response and this litigation and calling the police instead of just settling it.”