Watch: The 'Hunting RINO's' Ad That Is Driving Everyone Crazy

By Pamela Glass | Wednesday, 22 June 2022 16:45
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Missouri Republican Senate candidate Eric Greitens defended his "RINO hunting" ad Tuesday, claiming it was "clearly a metaphor."

"Every normal person around the state of Missouri saw that," Greitens said following backlash online for the violent implications of his ad. The ad features men in tactical military uniforms with rifles kicking down the door of a home and throwing a smoke grenade inside. Greitens, also armed, then enters the home, portraying a hunt for those who are "Republicans in name only."

The ad was published Monday but has already received enough criticism to evoke a reaction from Greitens during a radio interview. Twitter gave the video a warning label for "abusive behavior."

"I don’t think there is a real person in Missouri who thinks about it literally. Not one. What you’re seeing is a tremendous amount of faux outrage from leftists and RINOs," Greitens said. "[The ad] has a sense of humor."

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“The RINO feeds on corruption and is marked by the stripes of cowardice. … There’s no bagging limit, no tagging limit, and it doesn’t expire until we save our country,” he says in the video.

Greitens, who is seen holding a long shotgun for the duration of the video, is surrounded by men in U.S. armed forces camouflage uniforms. He also urged his supporters to join the “MAGA crew” and to get a “RINO hunting permit” after he rushed into an empty house while his crew tossed in a flash grenade.

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The candidate is also meeting claims of physical abuse. His ex-wife, Sheena, claimed in March to have proof that Greitens abused her and one of their sons as recently as 2019. Greitens has denied the allegations yet faces calls to drop out of the race, even from Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO).

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Greitens was previously Missouri's governor but resigned in 2018, less than 18 months into his term, after a sex scandal arose in which Greitens was seen to have taken a photo with a hairstylist during the course of an affair. His wife subsequently divorced him two years later after nearly a decade of marriage.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) went to Twitter to condemn the video and said that “this type of fa[s]cist messaging needs to stop. It only encourages political violence.”

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Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) also said on Twitter that “this is sociopathic.” He added that Greitens was “going to get someone killed.” When asked for a comment by The Hill, Greitens’s campaign press office said, “If anyone doesn’t get the metaphor, they are either lying or dumb.”

The former Missouri governor, who was compelled to quit in 2018 after claims of campaign finance violations and sexual assault of a woman he was dating surfaced, is running for the seat left open by the upcoming retirement of GOP Sen. Roy Blunt (Mo.).

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