Published: Mon, May 29, 2017
Culture | By Kelly Harrison

Trump congratulates body-slamming congressional candidate on win

"If results stay on this arc, wake-up call for Dems & activists to recruit serious, sober, quality candidates", The Washington Post's Paul Kane tweeted on Thursday night.

(AP Photo/Bobby Caina Calvan).

"Great win in Montana", Trump told reporters trailing him at the G-7 Summit in Sicily, before walking away.

After the Republican candidate won Montana's special election on Thursday, liberals took to social media to express their disbelief and anger at the outcome.

"From the beginning this race was going to be very hard, particularly for an oddly timed special election still in Trump's 'honeymoon, '" said Meredith Kelly, communications director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "That's the Montana way", he said. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle refused to endorse either candidate.

An energized Democratic voter base.

"Greg Gianforte will be the next congressman from Montana, and Nancy Pelosi and liberals in Washington were rejected again", Rep. Steve Stivers of OH, who chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee, said after the GOP win. They say Montana's election - like races in Georgia and Kansas - is a bad omen for Republicans heading into 2018.

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Gianforte's support came from people like Bozeman advertising executive Cailley Tonn, who voted early for Gianforte. Democrats were initially hopeful that he'd appeal to Montana's right-leaning voters who have a history of electing Democratic mavericks. The cowboy-hat-wearing musician making his first run for Congress had some financial problems in his past that Republicans jumped on.

Stivers' Democratic counterpart, Rep.

Gianforte, who will defend the seat during next year's mid-term elections, sounded contrite. It meets the confirmation bias of many of my friends but we really need more time to sort through facts.

"I'm not proud of what happened", he said. "We'll keep up the enthusiasm, no question about that".

Gianforte campaigning with Donald Trump Jr in Montana. But it was too late to do any more advertising. Yet, at a meet and greet event in Bozeman, The Guardian's Ben Jacobs wanted to ask Mr. Gianforte about the CBO score on the GOP health care bill. According to a campaign statement made immediately after the incident, "After asking Jacobs to lower the recorder, Jacobs declined". Though Democratic lawmakers had no problem castigating Gianforte for the alleged assault, few Republicans complained about his behavior.

Jacobs: You just body-slammed me and broke my glasses. Gianforte's victory preserved the GOP's 24-seat advantage in the House of Representatives. His own campaign staff said Gianforte wouldn't have voted for it. "That's the Montana way", he said.

"Last night I made a mistake".

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