Tuesday, Aug 16, 2022

US Senate Candidate's 'RINO Hunting' Video Gets Flak From Facebook

Facebook recently took down a campaign video of Republican Missouri US Senate candidate Eric Greitens brandishing a shotgun and declaring that he's hunting RINOS (Republicans In Name Only)

Mark Zuckerberg at US Senate Hearing
Mark Zuckerberg at US Senate Hearing Associated Press (AP)

Facebook has removed a campaign video by Republican Missouri US Senate candidate Eric Greitens that shows him brandishing a shotgun and declaring that he's hunting RINOS, or Republicans In Name Only.

 In the ad, Greitens, a former Missouri governor who resigned in disgrace in 2018, is flanked by a tactical unit outside a home on a tree-lined street as he whispers, “The RINO feeds on corruption and is marked by the stripes of cowardice,” using a term of derision that former President Donald Trump and his allies use to label moderate or establishment Republicans.

The armed tactical team breaks through the front door and throws what appear to be flash-bang grenades inside. Greitens enters an empty living room through the smoke and says, “Join the MAGA crew. Get a RINO hunting permit. There's no bagging limit, no tagging limit and it doesn't expire until we save our country.”

Facebook on Monday said the video was removed “for violating our policies prohibiting violence and incitement.”

 Twitter said Greitens' post violated its rules about abusive behaviour but said it was leaving it up because it was in the “public's interest” for the tweet to be viewable. The company's move prevented the post from being shared any further.

The video comes at a time of renewed focus on violence in politics following fatal mass shootings and threats to government officials. 

 Two weeks ago, a man carrying a gun, a knife and zip ties was arrested near Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's house after threatening to kill the justice. Around the same time, a gunman killed a retired county judge in Wisconsin before fatally shooting himself, and he had a list that included the names of Michigan Gov Gretchen Whitmer, Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell and Wisconsin Gov Tony Evers.

On Sunday, Republican Rep Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, one of two Republicans serving on the House committee investigating the January 6 Capitol insurrection, said he recently received a letter at his home threatening “to execute me, as well as my wife and 5-month-old child.”

 Greitens is among the Republican candidates in a highly competitive August 2 primary to fill the seat being vacated by retiring GOP Sen Roy Blunt