After allegedly assaulting a reporter barely 24 hours earlier, victorious Montana Republican Greg Gianforte tells supporters ''I should not have responded in the way that I did, and for that I am sorry.'' Gianforte defeated a political novice to win Montana's seat in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: "I should not have responded in the way that I did, and for that I am sorry," Republican Greg Gianforte said during his victory speech in Montana on Thursday night (May 26). The Republican defeated a political novice to win Montana's seat in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday, barely 24 hours after he was charged with assaulting reporter Ben Jacobs who asked him about the Republican healthcare bill. "I'm sorry Mr. Ben Jacobs," said Gianforte. A race that was expected to be a test of President Donald Trump's political influence ahead of next year's U.S. congressional elections was jolted by the charge against Gianforte, a wealthy technology executive who had urged voters to send him to Congress to help Trump. Gianforte beat Democrat Rob Quist, a banjo player and first-time candidate who had focused his campaign on criticism of the Republican effort to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama's healthcare law. CNN projected Gianforte would win. With 96 percent of the vote counted, he led Quist by 51 percent to 43 percent. Gianforte prevailed despite being charged on Wednesday night with misdemeanor assault on Ben Jacobs, a political correspondent for the U.S. edition of the Guardian newspaper, who said the candidate "body-slammed" him during a campaign event in Bozeman.