TOP STORIES A Missouri Senate candidate holds a shotgun and calls...

A Missouri Senate candidate holds a shotgun and calls for a “hunt for RINO” in a new ad.

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In the ad for the new campaign, Eric Greitens is armed with a shotgun and stands next to men in military uniform as they break into a house.

Greitens for the US Senate


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Greitens for the US Senate

In the ad for the new campaign, Eric Greitens is armed with a shotgun and stands next to men in military uniform as they break into a house.

Greitens for the US Senate

A new campaign ad for Eric Greitens, the controversial former Missouri governor now running for the US Senate, accused him of glorifying political violence and tagged Twitter for violating its “abusive behavior” policy.

“Today we’re going hunting for RINO,” Republican Greitens said with a smile as he slid the action of his shotgun in a 38-second commercial. RINO stands for Republican in Name Only.

Greitens and a group of men in military uniform are then shown breaking into the house with weapons at the ready.

“RINO feeds on corruption and is marked by streaks of cowardice,” Greitens said. “Get a RINO hunting permit. There are no hunting limits, no tagging limits, and it won’t expire until we save our country.”

Advertised on social media Monday morning. It was soon criticized by many on the left – and some on the right – for its use of language and visuals that seemed to encourage violence against political opponents.

By noon, Twitter flagged the tweet with a warning that the video violated the company’s “offensive behavior” policy. But it allowed the advertisement to remain visible, stating that “it might be in the public interest.” The video has been viewed over 2 million times.

“It’s sociopathic. Someone will get killed because of you.” wrote Rep. Joaquin Castro, Democrat of Texas.

“You are a very bad person” wrote Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois. whose criticism of Donald Trump brought on him both the label “RINO” and threats of violence, including a recent death threat he shared on Twitter just yesterday.

Greitens was elected Governor of Missouri in 2016 but resigned less than two years later amid allegations of sexual assault and blackmail of a woman with whom he had an extramarital affair.

He acknowledged the affair but denied any wrongdoing. Greitens was also accused of misusing a list of philanthropic donors to raise funds for the campaign. Ultimately, the criminal case against him was dropped.

He and his then-wife Sheena divorced. In a sworn statement earlier this year, she accused him of abusing her and their children.

Greitens is now one of 21 Republicans running to replace outgoing Senator Roy Blunt.

Some Missouri Republicans are worried that if Greitens wins the Republican primary in August, the candidate could alienate enough voters to hand the election over to a Democrat.

Greitens stubbornly refused calls to quit his studies. June Emerson College Poll and Hill found that 26% of likely primary voters preferred Greitens, enough to lead the crowded race.

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