Video: Missouri GOP Senate Candidate Invites Voters to Get 'RINO Hunting Permit' in New Ad
21:39 GMT 20.06.2022 (Updated: 23:15 GMT 20.06.2022)
© AP Photo / David A. LiebFormer Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens gestures while speaking to reporters in Jefferson City Feb. 22, 2022.
© AP Photo / David A. Lieb
The release of the controversial ad comes amid heated debate regarding necessary gun control after a recent spate of mass shootings, as well as the political confrontation between Democrats controlling the congressional committee investigating the events of January 6, 2021, and Republican supporters of ex-President Trump.
Republican Senate candidate Eric Greitens launched a rather violent new political commercial showing him racking a shotgun and leading a team of men armed with assault rifles as they burst into a home in search of "RINOs," an acronym standing for the phrase "Republicans in Name Only."
In a video released on Monday, Greitens, who himself is a former Navy SEAL and ex-governor of Missouri, urges potential voters to "join the MAGA crew," indicating his political support for the right-wing movement headed by former US President Donald Trump.
"Get a RINO hunting permit. There’s no bagging limit, no tagging limit, and it doesn’t expire until we save our country," he said in the ad.
Shortly after the video post went viral and sparked public outcry, Twitter flagged it for violating the platform's rules, restricting user access to the offending post as well as the ability to share and discuss the video. The microblogging platform, however, left it on the site as it was considered to be "in the public's interest."
Facebook* at the same time completely removed the video for "violating policies."
Many political commentators, netizens, and current members of Congress condemned Greitens for his overtly defiant and violent advertising campaign.
One of the video responses to the commercial was recorded by a rival candidate for the same Senate seat - Lucas Kunce, who claimed Greitens has a history of trouble with the law and called on voters to help defeat him and "Lock. Him. Up."
"Are Republicans so intimidated by the popularity of Democrats that they won’t condemn a sociopath like Eric Greitens? It’s without a doubt the most ignominious abdication of responsibility ever by a political party. Wait. Actually, it’s in keeping with their cowardice re Trump," wrote political commentator Ken Olin.
Greitens' former wife, Sheena Greitens, reportedly accused him of domestic violence in March, including an incident in which one of their son's teeth was knocked loose. Several Republicans at the time, including Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, called for Greitens to drop out of the race.
Greitens has attempted, but apparently failed, to get Trump's public support. Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr.'s fiancée, is his campaign chair, according to reports.
The Monday ad was among those in a noticeable line of Republican campaign advertising showcasing firearms and attempting to link conservatism to the free use of lethal weapons.
*Meta, Facebook are banned in Russia over extremist activities