A political ad for former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ Senate campaign was posted to his social media accounts Monday morning. The ad depicted Greitens armed with a shotgun, breaking into a house with a SWAT team.
“Today we’re going RINO hunting,” Greitens says, implying he is hunting down members of his own Republican Party. “There’s no bagging limit, no tagging limit and it doesn’t expire.”
What is a RINO
RINO is an acronym for “Republican in Name Only.” The phrase has been used for a long time, according to Vox, but gained popularity during the Bill Clinton presidency.
Pew Research Center has shown the divide between Republicans and Democrats is growing, and the term RINO has been used derogatorily to label those who do not adhere to strict party stances.
Who is Eric Greitens?
The Associated Press reports Greitens stepped down as the governor of Missouri in 2018 after “17 months in office marked by criminal investigations and with the Legislature considering whether to try to impeach him.”
Among the investigations were allegations of “sexually assaulting and blackmailing a woman with whom he had an extramarital affair,” per NPR. Greitens admitted to the affair but denied all wrongdoing.
After Greitens divorced in 2020, his ex-wife made allegations in a sworn statement that he “committed acts of physical violence against her and the couple’s children,” according to NPR. Currently, Newsweek reports Greitens is polling at the top of the GOP primary race in Missouri.
“Big Tech is once again meddling in our elections and putting their thumb on the scale,” Greitens posted later on Facebook, after social media companies Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook flagged the recent campaign ad. “When I’m U.S. Senator, I will fight against the disgusting tech oligarchs from stealing any more elections.”
He has not addressed the criticism from members of Congress that the visuals appear to encourage violence against his political rivals. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., called Greitens a “very bad man,” in reference to the video.
Kinzinger has been called a “RINO” by some in the party for participating in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack investigation, and this video is not the only threat he has received. The senator recently tweeted a photo of a letter addressed to his wife threatening to execute his family.
Here is the letter. Addressed to my wife, sent to my home, threatening the life of my family. The Darkness is spreading courtesy of cowardly leaders fearful of truth. Is the what you want @GOP? Pastors?— Adam Kinzinger🇺🇦🇺🇸✌️ (@AdamKinzinger) June 19, 2022
The Washington Post has also tracked “how election administrators in at least 17 states received threats of violence in the months after the Jan. 6 attack.”