Several Republicans Excuse Gianforte For Assaulting Reporter

Yesterday Ben Jacobs of The Guardian alleged that Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate for Congress in Montana, assaulted him when Jacobs attempted to ask him a question about the GOP health care bill—an event confirmed by three witnesses from Fox News.

Gianforte denied the assault in a statement that contradicts audio of the incident posted by The Guardian, and he has been charged with misdemeanor assault.

The assault, however, has so far not been met with many loud cries of condemnation from the GOP.

In fact, several leading conservatives defended Gianforte over the incident.

California Republican Duncan Hunter said that assaulting a journalist is appropriate if “the reporter deserved it.”

South Carolina Republican Mark Sanford responded to the assault allegations by saying people should “be careful not to make him mad.”

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., blamed any violence on “the left.”

Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center, the leading conservative media monitoring group, suggested that Jacobs deserved to be assaulted.

Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham mocked Jacobs after Gianforte assaulted him:

Author Dinesh D’Souza called Jacobs a “cry baby” and suggested he manufactured the incident in order to swing the election against Gianforte:

Sandy Rios of American Family Radio similarly wondered if Jacobs was responsible: