Eric Greitens, the disgraced former governor of Missouri seeking political redemption in a MAGA-fied U.S. Senate bid, released a campaign ad Monday advertising a “hunting permit” for his political opponents — so-called “RINOs,” or “Republicans in Name Only.”
A campaign ad for Greitens’ new political assassination campaign opens with Greitens holding a shotgun and strolling past a mailbox labeled “The RINO’s Den.”
“I’m Eric Greitens, Navy SEAL, and today we’re going RINO hunting,” Greitens says in the ad — though he’s not actually a SEAL anymore.
The ad then pans to Greitens joining several men with military fatigues on the front porch of a house. One of them uses a battering ram to knock down the door, followed by the deployment of a flash-bang grenade.
Greitens and his anonymized military stand-ins enter the house with guns drawn, though the dwelling is apparently abandoned, allowing the disgraced former governor to deliver the latest fundraising pitch for his campaign: a hunting permit!
“The RINO feeds on corruption and is marked with the stripes of cowardice,” Greitens says in the ad. “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.”
A “RINO HUNTING PERMIT” sticker on Greitens’ page on WinRed, the Republican fundraising platform, is listed at $25.
A Facebook spokesperson told CNN that the platform had removed the video “for violating our policies prohibiting violence and incitement.” A disclaimer above the video on Twitter noted, “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.”
On Monday, Greitens lapped up the publicity his new ad had garnered, linking to a Washington Post upload of the video and thanking the paper for hosting it.
Greitens resigned the governorship in 2018 amid allegations that at various times he bound, photographed, sexually assaulted and blackmailed a woman. Greitens acknowledged having an extra-marital affair but denied the allegations of assault and blackmail.
No charges were filed in the case, but a Republican-led committee in the Missouri house found evidence that Greitens engaged in “multiple acts constituting crimes, misconduct, and acts of moral turpitude,” both in the alleged sexual assault case, and in another scandal involving a Greitens fundraising effort.
In addition, Greitens’ ex-wife Sheena Greitens has accused him of physical abuse of her and their children as part of an ongoing child custody dispute, accusations the candidate has denied and said are part of a smear campaign backed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and “the RINO swamp.”