GOP Senate candidate tells voters to get ‘RINO hunting permits’

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GOP Senate candidate tells voters to get 'RINO hunting permits'

Disgraced former Missouri governor and GOP Senate candidate Eric Greitens released a wild ad Monday calling on primary voters to order a “RINO hunting permit” in an attack on Republicans known for breaking with former President Donald Trump. 

“RINO” – which stands for Republican in Name Only – has been used to label Republican lawmakers who openly criticize the former president or publicly oppose his belief that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. In recent months, Trump has urged Republicans to vote out lawmakers that have crossed him – most notably Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.). 

The Greitens ad took the attack on his fellow GOPers to another level.

“I’m Eric Greitens, Navy Seal, and today we’re going RINO hunting,” the 48-year-old says in the 38-second ad. 

In the disturbing video, Greitens is seen holding a double-barreled rifle while being flanked by several men wearing tactical gear, holding a battering ram, a smoke bomb and what appear to be semi-automatic weapons. 

“The RINO feeds on corruption and is marked by the stripes of cowardice,” Greitens says in the video before the group forces entry into an empty home. 

“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,” he continued. 

In a Twitter post sharing the ad, Greitens accused “Republicans in Name Only” of “surrendering to Joe Biden & the radical Left.” 

Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens gestures while speaking to reporters in Jefferson City Feb. 22, 2022.
The Greitens ad took the attack on his fellow GOPers to another level.
AP Photo/David A. Lieb File

Several hours after the video was uploaded to Twitter, the social media giant flagged the post saying it violated its rules.

“This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about abusive behavior. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible,” a warning above the tweet now reads.

The video was also removed from Facebook for “for violating our policies prohibiting violence and incitement,” CNN reported.

GOP Senate candidate urges voters to get ‘RINO’ hunting permits in campaign ad
In a campaign ad, Senate candidate Eric Greitens carries a gun, flanked by heavily armed men, and proposes to hunt and kill “Republicans in Name Only.”
Twitter / Eric Greitens

Meanwhile, Greitens’ website links to a separate website to donate to his campaign, promising supporters a “RINO Hunting Permit” sticker if they donate $25.

Monday was not the first time Greitens has used political “hunting permits” as a fundraising tool. 

In 2016, the then-candidate for governor sold “ISIS hunting permits” for $10 through his campaign. 

GOP Senate candidate urges voters to get ‘RINO’ hunting permits in campaign ad
Eric Greitens accused “Republicans in Name Only” of “surrendering to Joe Biden & the radical Left.” 
Twitter / Eric Greitens

Greitens will face off against Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, Rep. Vicky Hartzler, Rep. Billy Long, and gun-touting lawyer Mark McCloskey in Missouri’s Republican primary on Aug. 2. 

Most polls show Greitens leading the field as well as a large number of undecided voters. An early June poll conducted by Emerson College and The Hill showed Greitens leading with 26% of the vote and Schmitt in second with 20% of the vote, followed by Hartzler (16%), Long (8%) and McCloskey (4%). More than a quarter of likely voters (27%) said they were undecided.

Greitens resigned as governor in June 2018 after he was indicted by a grand jury for invasion of privacy, after he allegedly took a compromising photo of his hairdresser — with whom he was having an affair — and threatened to use it as blackmail if she ever spoke of the encounter.

More recently, Greitens’ ex-wife Sheena has accused him of physically abusing her and their children prior to their divorce in 2020.

Greitens has also been accused of illegally providing his political fundraising arm with the donor list of his veterans charity, The Mission Continues. 

GOP Senate candidate urges voters to get ‘RINO’ hunting permits in campaign ad
A still image seen from the “RHINO hunting” campaign ad.
Twitter / Eric Greitens

Monday’s campaign ad was strongly criticized by bipartisan lawmakers, commentators and political pundits – many of whom accused Greitens of inciting violence. 

“Eric Greitens is an abuser, a blackmailer, and less than ten years ago — a Democrat. There is no basement too low for him to cover up his past Obama support and blindfold Missourians into believing he represents their values,” Hartzler said in a statement. “To be clear: The only RINO featured in Eric Greitens’ web video is himself.”

“I met Eric Greitens in 2015 when he was an entrepreneur before he ran for governor. He was charismatic with an undercurrent of narcissism and malignancy,” former Democratic presidential candidate and New York mayoral candidate Andrew Yang tweeted. “Summary: l’d support anyone running against him. That guy should be nowhere near DC or a position of authority.”

GOP Senate candidate urges voters to get ‘RINO’ hunting permits in campaign ad
The campaign ad was strongly criticized by bipartisan lawmakers, commentators and political pundits.
Twitter / Eric Greitens

“Let’s place the blame for this violent ad where it belongs, at the doorsteps of Kevin McCarthy & Mitch McConnell. They’ve failed to confront & condemn the MAGA radicals of their party. Now it’s out of control & threatens everyone’s freedom,” Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) wrote. “RT to choose #VotingOverViolence”

“…There are two more things folks should know about Eric Greitens. First, who wears a button down collared shirt in a military operation? Second, Greitens wore that shirt because he is no longer a Navy Seal,” Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) tweeted. “The @us_navyseals refused to reinstate him due to his scandals.”

“Terrorists, child abusers, and criminals like Eric Greitens shouldn’t even be able to get a weapon,” Democratic Missouri Senate candidate Lucas Kunce wrote. “I’m the Marine veteran running against this guy. Send me to the U.S. Senate, and I’ll keep our families safe from criminals like him.”

The Republican National Committee, Schmitt, Long and McCloskey did not immediately respond to The Post’s requests for comment.

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