Facebook says the ad violates its policies on violence and incitement while Twitter has blocked sharing of the video.
Facebook has removed a campaign video of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Eric Greitens from Missouri that shows him brandishing a shotgun and stating that he is hunting RINOs, an acronym that stands for Republicans In Name Only.
RINO is a term of derision that former President Donald Trump and his allies use to refer to moderate or established Republicans.
In Monday’s video campaign ad, Greitens, a former Missouri governor who resigned in disgrace in 2018, is flanked by an armed tactical unit outside a house on a tree-lined street as he whispers: ” The RINO feeds on corruption and is marked by the blows of cowardice”.
The armed tactic team then breaks down the front door and throws what appear to be flash-bang grenades inside. Greitens walks into an empty lounge through the smoke and says, “Join the MAGA crew. Obtain a RINO hunting license. There is no bagging limit, no labeling limit and it does not expire until we save our country”.
Facebook said the video was removed “for violating our policies prohibiting violence and incitement.”
Twitter said Greitens’ post violated its rules on abusive behavior, but left it because it was in the “public interest” for the tweet to be seen. Twitter’s decision prevented the message from being shared.
Greitens responded by saying “Big Tech” — a term frequently used by Trump in reference to big tech companies — was “meddling” in the election and “thumbs up.”
“When I’m a US Senator, I’ll fight the disgusting tech oligarchs to stop stealing elections,” he wrote on Twitter.
The video comes at a time of renewed focus on violence in politics following fatal shootings and threats against government officials.
Two weeks ago, a man carrying a gun, knife and zip ties was arrested near the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh after threatening to kill the judge.
Around the same time, a gunman killed a retired county judge in Wisconsin before shooting himself, and he had a list that included the names of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers.
On Sunday, Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, one of two Republicans serving on the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol uprising, said he recently received a letter to his home threatening “to execute me, as well as my wife and my 5-month-old children. – old child.
Greitens is among the Republican candidates in a fiercely competitive Aug. 2 primary to fill the seat vacated by Republican incumbent Sen. Roy Blunt. The provocative ad came as Greitens seeks to improve his position in the polls, boost lackluster fundraising and move past graphic allegations of domestic violence made in a sworn affidavit filed by his ex-wife in March in their case. of child care.
Other candidates running for the Senate also condemned the video. Republican Senator Dave Schatz called it “completely irresponsible.”
“That’s why I run. It is time to restore sanity and cast aside this nonsense. Missouri deserves better,” Schatz said in a tweet.
— Dave Schatz (@DaveSchatzMO) June 20, 2022
Greitens’ campaign dismissed the outrage that erupted over the new ad.
“If someone doesn’t understand the metaphor, they’re either lying or being stupid,” campaign manager Dylan Johnson said in a statement.
Once a swing state, Missouri has become more reliably Republican in recent years.
But the Senate race is nonetheless garnering national attention as some members of the Republican establishment fear Greitens could be vulnerable against a Democrat in November. With the Senate equally divided, the Republican Party cannot afford to lose what would otherwise be a secure seat.