The Jan. 6 committee has, for the past few weeks, been reminding Americans about the horrifying “war scene” that unfolded during the attack on the Capitol. Some conservatives are ignoring the panel’s findings and dismissing the hearings as a distraction. Others are doubling down on political violence. Eric Greitens, a scandal-ridden Republican running for Senate in Missouri, released an ad on Monday advocating for “hunting” RINOs, or Republicans In Name Only, a term for conservatives who haven’t veered far enough to the right.
The ad is not subtle. It isn’t even metaphorical. It features Greitens and an armed military team breaking into a house to execute Republicans who don’t sufficiently support former President Trump. “Join the MAGA crew,” Greitens says. “Get a RINO-hunting permit. There’s no bagging limit, no tagging limit, and it doesn’t expire until we save our country.”
We are sick and tired of the Republicans in Name Only surrendering to Joe Biden & the radical Left.
Order your RINO Hunting Permit today! pic.twitter.com/XLMdJnAzSK
— Eric Greitens (@EricGreitens) June 20, 2022
Facebook removed the video shortly after Greitens posted it Monday morning. “We removed this video for violating our policies prohibiting violence and incitement,” a spokesperson said. Twitter did not remove the video, but did put a public interest notice on it for violating its rules against hateful content. Twitter also prohibited people from liking, comments, or retweeting the video, although it is allowing quote tweets.
Greitens is no stranger to gun-laden campaign ads. He was joined by Donald Trump Jr. earlier this year for a video in which the two shot guns at targets for a few seconds. “Striking fear into the hearts of liberals everywhere, folks,” Trump Jr. said. During his 2016 campaign for governor, Greitens released a spot of himself unleashing hell with an automatic Gatling gun. He won that election but resigned two years later amid scandals ranging from allegations of sexual misconduct to felony charges for using a veterans charity list to raise campaign cash. Greitens thinks he’s still fit for federal office, however, running this year to replace retiring Sen. Roy Blunt. He’s still mired in scandal, too. His ex-wife in March accused him of physically abusing their children, taking away her belongings, threatening her on multiple occasions, and threatening to kill himself if she didn’t stand by him as he was trying to weather his past scandals.
Greitens introduces himself in the video released Monday as a Navy SEAL. He’s tried to leverage his once-held military position for political gain on multiple occasions, something that hasn’t sit well with his former colleagues on the elite unit — especially in 2018 as his misconduct was spilling into public view, The New Yorker reported at the time.
Guns have been a fixture of Republican campaign ads ahead of the midterm elections, with several candidates implying they should be used to kill people. Blake Masters, the venture capitalist who recently landed former President Trump’s endorsement for Senate in Arizona, said in an ad that the “Second Amendment isn’t about duck hunting.” Janice McGeachin, who lost the Republican primary for governor in Idaho despite Trump’s endorsement, similarly said in an ad that the Second Amendment “isn’t about bird hunting.” But Greitens isn’t leaving the actual purpose of the Second Amendment to the imagination. He made abundantly clear in his campaign ad on Monday that it’s about executing those with opposing political views.
Trump is still mulling whom to endorse in the Republican primary for Senate in Missouri. The former president’s blessing could swing the race, and it wouldn’t at all be surprising if he lined up behind the gun-loving alleged sexual abuser who’s been charged with ripping off money from a veterans charity.