Gianforte Wins, Apologizes To Reporter
Montana congressman-elect Greg Gianforte apologized to the newspaper reporter he was accused of assaulting and to Montanans after he was declared the winner in Montana’s open U.S. House seat.
“And when you make a mistake you have to own up to it,” he said. “It’s the Montana way.”
Gianforte told the crowd he learned a lesson Wednesday night after the altercation with the Guardian newspaper’s Ben Jacobs went viral the evening before Montanans went to the polls.
“Last night I made a mistake. And I took an action that I can’t take back and I’m not proud of what happened. I should not have responded in the way that I did and for that I’m sorry,” said Gianforte.
That apology was broadcast live, including on KTVQ and Facebook, Gianforte broke the silence. Jacobs was widely quoted as saying the candidate “body slammed him.” Gianforte faces a misdemeanor assault charge. He also apologized to the Fox television news team that witnessed the event.
“That is not the person that I am and it’s not the way I’ll lead in this state. Rest assured our work is just beginning but it does begin with me taking responsibility for my own actions,” said Gianforte.
The high tech entrepreneur said he and his wife Susan will not be moving to Washington, D.C. Instead he said he will commute to the nation’s Capitol and travel back to Montana as much as he can.
“Montana sent a srong message tonight that we want a Congressman who will work with President Trump to make America and Montana great again,” he said.
The Associated Press declared Gianforte the winner shortly after 10:30 last night. The unusual Thursday special election was called to fill the vacancy created when Ryan Zinke resigned after he was tapped to become U.S. Interior Secretary in the Trump Administration.
Gianforte faced Democrat Rob Quist and Libertarian Mark Wicks on the ballot