Washington, May 25 (EFE).- Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday condemned the actions of his party’s candidate for Montana’s lower house seat, Greg Gianforte, for allegedly attacking a reporter working for The Guardian newspaper.
“There is no time where a physical altercation should occur,” Ryan said at his weekly press conference. “It should not have happened. Should the gentleman apologize? Yeah, I think he should apologize. I know he has his own version, and I’m sure he’ll have more to say” about the Wednesday evening incident.
“There’s no call for this no matter what, under any circumstance,” Ryan said.
However, the speaker did not ask Gianforte to terminate his candidacy over what happened and sidestepped responding to reporters’ questions about how the party would receive the Montana candidate if he wins the special election being held on Thursday.
“If he wins, he has been chosen by the people of Montana who their congressman is going to be. I’m going to let the people of Montana decide who they want as their representative,” Ryan said, when asked by a reporter whether he would seat Gianforte.
Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that Gianforte’s actions were intended to imitate the intimidation used by President Donald Trump against the press.
Gianforte is the GOP aspirant to the House seat made vacant when Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke joined Trump’s Cabinet, and he is running against Democrat Rob Quist.
The conservative candidate on Wednesday evening allegedly attacked Ben Jacobs, a reporter with Britain’s The Guardian, who had asked him about the healthcare reform that GOP lawmakers are pushing in Congress.
Jacobs asked Gianforte about the Republican plan to replace ObamaCare, the healthcare law implemented by former President Barack Obama, to which he responded – according to an audiotape released by the daily – “I’m sick and tired of you guys! The last time you came here you did the same thing. Get the hell out of here. Get the hell out of here.”
Immediately after that, Gianforte reportedly threw Jacobs to the ground and broke his glasses, an incident corroborated by a Fox News team who were present and who captured the incident on audiotape.