Missouri GOP Leader Says He Called Law Enforcement After Senate Candidate's 'RINO Hunting' Ad
Caleb Rowden, the leader of the Missouri Republican Party, confirmed he contacted law enforcement after former Missouri Republican Governor Eric Greitens, now a Senate candidate, dropped a new campaign ad in which he offered “RINO Hunting Permits” to his contributors.
In the ad, Greitens introduces himself as a "Navy SEAL" and urged his followers to join the "MAGA crew," noting "there's no bagging limit, no tagging limit and it doesn’t expire until we save our country.”
The term RINO, or Republicans In Name Only, is a pejorative applied to officials elected as members of the Republican Party whose positions don't align with everything GOP leadership does. In recent years, the term has been applied to any Republican who criticizes or disagrees with former GOP President Donald Trump.
You can watch Greitens' ad below.
The ad disturbed Rowden, who shortly afterward issued a tweet announcing he contacted authorities.
Rowden announced the Missouri Republican Party has "been in contact with the Missouri Highway Patrol and hope former Gov Greitens finds the help he needs."
Rowden added anyone "with multiple accusations of abuse toward women and children should probably steer clear of this rhetoric," referring to Greitens' resignation from the governorship in June 2018 amid allegations of sexual assault and campaign finance impropriety.
\u201cWe have been in contact with the Missouri Highway Patrol and hope that former Gov Greitens finds the help he needs.\n\nAnyone with multiple accusations of abuse toward women and children should probably steer clear of this rhetoric. #MOSen #MOLeg\u201d— Caleb Rowden (@Caleb Rowden) 1655749463
Others have also criticized Greitens.
\u201cHow in the hall is Eric Greitens still in the United States Naval Reserve? How broken is the system that a criminal is allowed to stomp all over the regulations and @USNavyCNR simply ignores it all? Enforce the standards and discipline your officer! @USNavyCNO\u201d— Fred Wellman (@Fred Wellman) 1655776547
\u201cAnd, no, Eric Greitens isn\u2019t mentally ill. He an abuser, a deviant, a bully, a misogynist, an extremist, a danger to democracy, a toxic blight on humanity, a threat to to anyone who disagrees with him, and a corrupt and power-hungry politician.\n\nThose are all personal choices.\u201d— Shannon Watts (@Shannon Watts) 1655749030
\u201cActually, there are two more things folks should know about Eric Greitens. First, who wears a button down collared shirt in a military operation? Second, Greitens wore that shirt because he is no longer a Navy Seal. The @us_navyseals refused to reinstate him due to his scandals.\u201d— Ted Lieu (@Ted Lieu) 1655740065
\u201cIn the land of almost daily mass shootings, a #Republican posts a bizarre video of him hunting down fellow Republicans with an assault team.\n\nNothing to see here in the #FascistStatesOfAmerica.\n\n#RepublicansAreDestroyingAmerica \n#TrumpCult \n#GunCult\n#GOPGunsOverPeople\u201d— Citizen13_Relentless (@Citizen13_Relentless) 1655820468
\u201cMissouri!!! Please tell us you're better than this unhinged, violent, corrupt, abusive POS!\u201d— MOHostage (@MOHostage) 1655825217
\u201cRepublican scruples are way down. Violence and bigotry. Are you proud? Pathetic you are\u201d— Lock Them Trumps Up \u262e\ufe0f (@Lock Them Trumps Up \u262e\ufe0f) 1655824230
\u201cAt the very least, it looks like Greitens has been banned from Twitter. So, I guess that\u2019s something.\u201d— Andrea Crossett (@Andrea Crossett) 1655824739
\u201can abject criminal thug like @EricGreitens should not even be allowed to possess a gun, dude's a walking red flag law ad\u201d— Owen Thomas (@Owen Thomas) 1655811756
Greitens was charged with felony invasion of privacy in February 2018 after his former hairdresser accused him of sexual assault.
A bipartisan Special Investigative Committee in the Missouri state legislature found the woman "overall credible" and issued a report on the incident.
Greitens was also charged with campaign-related offenses, though those charges were later dropped after the Missouri Ethics Commission reported its campaign investigation did not find wrongdoing on Greitens's part individually, or that he knew of two reporting issues it found with his campaign.
In March 2022, he announced his Senate campaign to replace retiring incumbent Roy Blunt, who'd served in the Senate since 2010.