“We are sick and tired of the Republicans in Name Only surrendering to Joe Biden & the radical Left. Order your RINO Hunting Permit today!” Greitens, a Republican, wrote in a Twitter post. The accompanying ad showed a smiling Greitens holding a shotgun before saying: “We’re going RINO hunting.”
A RINO, he said, “feeds on corruption and is marked by the stripes of cowardice.” The clip then shows a tactical-style team entering a building before Greitens calls on supporters to get a “RINO hunting permit.”
“There’s no bagging limit, no tagging limit, and it doesn’t expire until we save our country,” Greitens continued.
Later on Monday, Greitens said that “Facebook CENSORED our new ad calling out the weak RINOs. When I get to the US Senate, we are taking on Big Tech.”
Facebook confirmed it removed his video, and a spokesperson for parent company Meta told The Hill on Monday that it violated “our policies prohibiting violence and incitement.”
Twitter didn’t remove the video, but a spokesperson claimed that the video “violated the Twitter Rules about abusive behavior,” according to reports. “However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible,” the company spokesperson added.
Twitter also placed a disclaimer on the ad, which remained accessible as of Monday afternoon, which read, “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about abusive behavior.”
The Epoch Times has contacted Greitens’s campaign for comment, but a spokesperson told news outlets that “if anyone doesn’t get the metaphor, they are either lying or dumb.”
Greitens’s Twitter account on Monday shared a Washington Post article and jokingly thanked the newspaper for “hosting our video on their website … everybody can visit the link below to see our new ad!”
Greitens’s ad drew criticism from a variety of groups, including a spokesperson for the National Rifle Association (NRA).
“Why then did you make the MO Capitol a gun free zone, bash the Second Amendment Preservation Act using verbatim Mom’s Demand language, and refuse to support Constitutional Carry?” wrote Dana Loesch, an NRA spokeswoman, in response to the Republican candidate’s Twitter post. “Also think you should be the one breaching the door in your own ad,” she added.
Several Democrat lawmakers, including Reps. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) and Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), also criticized the advertisement. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), one of two Republicans on the House Jan. 6 panel, also attacked Greitens after the video was released.
Greitens was the former Republican governor of Missouri before he resigned in 2018 amid allegations that he improperly used campaign funds and allegations of sexual misconduct. At the time, he denied the claims and said they are “false allegations” that are “being advanced by political adversaries.”
“This personal matter has been addressed by the Governor and Mrs. Greitens privately years ago when it happened,” Greitens said via a spokesperson in 2018. “The outrageous claims of improper conduct regarding these almost three-year-ago events are false.”