WASHINGTON- House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) Thursday said Montana GOP Congressional candidate Greg Gianforte should apologize for having allegedly body-slammed Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs.
“Should the gentleman apologize? Yeah I think he should,” Ryan said in response to a question at a news conference following a lengthy condemnation of the alleged Wednesday evening assault.
Ryan would not say whether he and fellow House Republican leaders would agree to seat Gianforte should the candidate win but the Speaker suggested that the wishes of Montana voters would be respected.
“I’m going to let the people of Montana decide who they want as their representative,” the Speaker said.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) suggested to reporters Thursday that Gianforte’s behavior was somewhat influenced by rough tactics exhibited by some of President Donald Trump’s campaign supporters during rallies last year.
“That’s his model, Donald Trump,” she said.
Pelosi also said Gianforte is a “wannabe-Trump.”
Gianforte, who is seeking The Treasure State’s at-large House seat vacated in March by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, was charged with misdemeanor assault in connection with the incident, according to a statement issued by the Gallatin County Sherrif’s Office on Thursday.
A Gravis Marketing poll taken several days before the altercation showed Gainforte with a double-digit lead over Democrat Rob Quist.
The special election is today.