Key Montana newspapers pull Gianforte endorsement after incident

The Billings Gazette wrote an editorial late Wednesday declaring that it has rescinded its endorsement of GOP House hopeful Greg Gianforte after allegations that he assaulted a news reporter.

The paper called its last-minute decision a move “without precedent.” The column started: “We’re at a loss for words.”

“If what was heard on tape and described by eye-witnesses is accurate, the incident in Bozeman is nothing short of assault. We wouldn’t condone it if it happened on the street. We wouldn’t condone it if it happened in a home or even a late-night bar fight. And we couldn’t accept it from a man who is running to become Montana’s lone Congressional representative,” the paper wrote.

The incident occurred Wednesday evening at Gianforte’s campaign headquarters. The candidate was approached by Ben Jacobs, a reporter from The Guardian, and was asked about the newly released Congressional Budget Office report on the American Health Care Act.

Jacobs apparently persistent and—according to a Fox News team there— Gianforte “grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him.”

Alicia Acuna, the Fox News reporter, wrote that she “watched in disbelief” as Gianforte then began punching the reporter.

A statement from Gianforte’s campaign later said, “after asking Jacobs to…

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