Will North Dakotans Care About Gary Emineth’s Intemperate Social Media Postings?

U.S. Senate candidate Gary Emineth speaks at the NDGOPs District 35 convention in Bismarck on January 31, 2018. Photo via Emineth campaign

On Sunday some dummy wrote a print column about how North Dakota’s Democrats should avoid hubris when it comes to the U.S. Senate race this year. That dummy was me, and my point was that 2018 Democrats talking about Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s chances of re-election have begun to sound like Republicans in 2012 talking about Rick Berg’s chances of beating Heitkamp.

I do think Democrats should be cautious. I do think Heitkamp is a lot more vulnerable than our liberal friends would like to admit. But given the state of the NDGOP’s field of candidates, maybe the Dems are right to be cocky.

Last night some CNN reporters wrote a story about U.S. Senate candidate Gary Emineth’s propensity for intemperate social media postings. Contemporaneous to announcing his Senate campaign Emineth attempted to scrub his social media history.

The internet, however, is forever.

Here are some of most egregious examples including referring to anti-Israel protesters as a “bunch of Arabs”:

A retweet of a meme opposing the building of mosques in America, a strange sentiment for Emineth who I’m certain would describe himself as a proponent of religious liberty:

And finally a Facebook meme which draws a comparison between food stamps recipients and animals:

Asked about the CNN story, Emineth was defiant in response to my colleague reporter Sam Easter:

Asked how he might respond to a rival’s charge, based on CNN’s reporting, that he might not be fit for the office, Emineth said he loves both his country and his family.

“And I want to give my family and friends the same opportunity I had to go out in this country and make a living and enjoy the fruits of their work. …I’d say bring it on. I’m going to say what’s on my mind,” said Emineth, a businessman who previously served as the state GOP’s chairman.

Emineth also referred to CNN as “fake news” multiple times, though he did not specifically deny sharing any of the items CNN cited on his social media feeds. He also referred to “George Soros-type people around the country” hired to search the internet for such items, saying he invoked the donor’s name as “a funder of the far left.”

Additionally, Emineth said President Donald Trump has said “tougher stuff than this.”

That’s probably the right tack. Be unapologetic. Be aggressive. Own it as your personal version of Trumpiness.

Because after all, Trump has said and done things far more inflammatory than anything Emineth has posted on social media, and he got nearly 63 percent of the vote in North Dakota.

Still Emineth isn’t exactly Trump, and Heidi Heitkamp isn’t exactly Hillary Clinton.

This has got to be depressing for North Dakota Republicans. They came into this election cycle thinking they had a very real chance to send Heitkamp into retirement. Now they’re just 65 days away from their state convention in Grand Forks and they have just two challengers for Heitkamp.

One, Emineth, had admittedly only been in the race a short time but so far hasn’t exactly impressed with his campaign skills.

The other, Tom Campbell, has all the charisma of a damp rag.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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