Gianforte rides “Trump train” during Polson visit

Print Article

Republican U.S. House of Representatives candidate Greg Gianforte likened the Montana special election to a referendum on the Trump presidency during a campaign stop in Polson last week. (Brett Berntsen/Lake County Leader)

Referring to Montana’s upcoming special election as a referendum on President Donald Trump’s first few months in office, Republican U.S. House of Representatives candidate Greg Gianforte visited Polson last week with a clear proposition for the GOP voter base.

“Does the Trump train pick up speed or do we put on the brakes,” Gianforte asked the crowd gathered at the Red Lion Hotel on Thursday.

The Bozeman businessman and former gubernatorial candidate urged local Republican voters to continue the wave which has positioned the party in control of all three branches of government simultaneously.

“We have an opportunity in Washington that we have not had in a long time,” he said.

With Democrats drumming up surprising support in several similar elections across the country, Gianforte stressed the need for engagement during the May 25 vote.

“This is a very important election coming up in terms of advancing Montana,” he said.

In a speech reminiscent of the Nov. 8 general election, Gianforte once again promoted himself as a successful businessman and political outsider.

“Washington is not working for us,” he said, kicking off a discussion that centered on federal overreach, “draining the swamp” and private sector job creation.

Questions from the crowd asked about Gianforte’s stance on healthcare, and show he will align himself in an increasingly polarized congress.

Gianforte said he supports repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, however he thought the recent failed attempt by Republican leadership was premature.

“They tried to rush it through,” he said.

Gianforte added that he does not predict himself contributing to divisiveness in Washington.

“I’m probably not going to be with the Freedom Caucus, although we agree on many things,” he said, referring to the group of conservative lawmakers that opposed the Republican health care plan.

Gianforte received strong support from the crowd, particularly for a $50,000 contribution that his family trust recently donated for the establishment of a special drug court for nonviolent offenders in Lake County.

Despite the local enthusiasm, Gianforte was narrowly defeated in the largely Republican county during his bid for governor in November, losing to incumbent Gov. Steve Bullock by a margin of roughly 200 votes.

While Gianforte is hoping to capitalize on the fact that he is not a career politician, his challenger for Montana’s lone U.S. House seat, Rob Quist,s is also banking on the same claim.

The Democratic musician of Mission Mountain Wood Band fame has garnered national support, with Sen. Bernie Sanders announcing earlier this week that he will travel to the Big Sky State in support of Quist.

Gianforte did not mince words about his opponent at the meeting, calling Quist a “Nancy Pelosi in a cowboy hat,” in reference to the current Democratic House Minority Leader.

Quist in turn has distanced himself from Gianforte, stating in campaign ads that Congress already has enough millionaires. Quist has also criticized Gianforte for not holding enough public appearances.

Despite maintaining a low profile compared to his gubernatorial campaign, Gianforte nevertheless invited those in attendance on Thursday to a series of rallies featuring a big name of his own: Donald Trump Jr.

He ended with a similar message when it came to casting ballots.

“The opposition is mad and highly motivated,” he said. “The one thing I want to ask is that you make sure you vote.”

Print Article

Read More

Mental health programs could prevent tragedy

October 19, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Lake County Leader Have you ever, in today’s world of chaos, seriously wondered what it will take to solve mass killings, health care, abortion issues, racism problems, perpetual political divisiveness, and other serio...

Comments

Read More

Boy Scouts decision disappointing

October 19, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Lake County Leader Now, more than ever, it is imperative for us to be the champion of girls. In today’s world, girls need girl-only spaces where girls are the first thought not an afterthought. Girls need to feel safe ...

Comments

Read More

Nation in need of more statesmen, not politicians

October 19, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Lake County Leader In college in the fifties, I was taught that, historically, no governmental structure was permanent: all would change in time. Furthermore, transition periods could be pretty bloody. Could this actua...

Comments

Read More

Housing organization seeking board members

October 19, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Lake County Leader No matter what the political climate, the fact remains that many families across the community struggle with basic survival costs, including housing. This is a problem that impacts the health of the...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 883-4343
PO BOX 1090
Polson, MT 59860

©2017 Lake County Leader Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X