BOZEMAN – For the first time since his election last week, U.S. Representative-Elect Greg Gianforte spoke to the media Friday and it was with MTN News.
Gianforte sat down with MTN Chief Political Reporter Mike Dennison at the congressman-elect’s home in Bozeman.
He talked about his plans for the new job – and, the incident that made national news on the eve of the election, when he allegedly assaulted a reporter.
Gianforte won the May 25 special election with a shade over 50 percent of the vote defeating Democrat Rob Quist, who had 44 percent and Libertarian Mark Wicks, with six percent.
In Friday’s interview, Gianforte repeated the apology he made on election night saying he shouldn’t have treated Guardian Reporter Ben Jacobs the way he did, last Wednesday.
Gianforte who is facing a misdemeanor assault charge is accused of throwing Jacobs to the ground and punching him, after Jacobs questioned Gianforte about a Republican healthcare bill.
The Bozeman businessman said he’d like to see a return to more civility on all sides of the political equation.
But, most of all, Gianforte said he’s taking responsibility for his actions on the night before the election and looking forward to getting to work as Montana’s new congressman.
“I made a mistake. And when you make a mistake, you take responsibility, you own up to it, and I think that’s the right course of action. I think it’s the way we repair relationships and move forward. … As I said at the beginning, that is not who I am, it’s not going to define my leadership for the state, and I look forward to working, going forward to represent all of Montana,” Gianforte said.
We’ll have a more in-depth report on the Gianforte interview Friday night on KTVH.