Missouri Senate candidate Eric Greitens (R) is facing criticism after he released a new video urging his supporters to go “RINO hunting.”
The Missouri Republican shared a 38-second video on Twitter where he touts his past as a Navy SEAL and is seen breaking into a house while going what he calls “RINO hunting.”
“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 US armed forces camouflage uniforms. He also urged his supporters to join the “MAGA crew” and to get a “RINO hunting permit” after he hit into an empty house while his crew tossed into a flash grenade.
He shared the video with a caption Monday that said, “we are sick and tired of the Republicans in Name Only surrendering to Joe Biden & the radical Left.”
Greitens, who calls himself a conservative and an “outsider,” faced swift retaliation on social media for alluding to hunting humans in the video.
Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) took to Twitter to denounce the video and said that “this type of fa[s]cyst messaging needs to stop. It only encourages political violence.”
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 forced to resign in 2018 after allegations of finance campaign 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.).
Greitens has also been accused of abusing his ex-wife Sheena Greitens, who said that he physically grew with her and her children.
She shared disturbing details including that Eric Greitens bought a gun, hid it from his family and then threatened to kill himself if his specific then-wife did not provide “public political support” prior to his resignation.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) previously said that Greitens should drop out of the Missouri race after the allegations of abuse came to light. “If you hit a woman or a child, you belong in handcuffs, not the United States Senate,” Hawley tweeted. “It’s time for Eric Greitens to leave this race.”
The video comes as a bipartisan group of 20 senators — 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats — announced an agreement on nine principles for potential measures to battle gun violence, including funding for school mental health and safety programs and reviews of juvenile records for gun purchasers under the age of 21.
Updated at 12:48