"No Comment" Candidate Gianforte's Growing List of Dodged Questions

New Jersey multimillionaire Greg Gianforte is doing more dodging than talking. Below is a complete, but not final, list of times Gianforte has dodged questions from Montanans, tried to whitewash his record, or mislead voters. 

"Greg Gianforte's plan to hide from the questions Montanans are asking him is irresponsible and dangerous," said Jason Pitt, a spokesperson for the Montana Democratic Party. "Montanans expect transparency and straight shooting from the people who want to be their leaders. Gianforte needs to stop hiding and finally come clean with where he stands on these important issues."


Billings Gazette"The candidate did not address those criticisms in his announcement. He had not responded to questions from the Gazette about those criticisms by press time." LINK

Buzzfeed"Gianforte did not respond to requests to comment for this article on his donations to anti-LGBT groups, what he would do if elected, or his own direct activism." LINK. 

The Western News"The candidate side-stepped a question about his family foundation’s donation to anti-gay hate groups, characterizing the question as a “rabbit trail.'" LINK

Montana Public Radio"we're well past the point where it's reasonable for the Gianforte campaign to avoid questions about his stance on social issues." LINK.

Montana Public Radio"(Gianforte) campaign spokesperson Aaron Flint says the questions are 'inappropriate.'" LINK.

The Western Word"Gianforte and his campaign seem to believe how he spends his wealth is off-limits. Voters have a right to know these things, so it is perfectly fine to ask." LINK

Billings Gazette“In an interview with the Lee State Bureau, Gianforte discussed some details of his family’s giving but largely disagreed that it was relevant to his campaign to become governor....campaign spokesman Aaron Flint called the question “flawed, if not outright inappropriate.” LINK

Billings Gazette editorial“It appears the front-runner and best hope for the Montana Republicans’ gubernatorial bid, Greg Gianforte, through the Gianforte Family Foundation, has given plenty of money to organizations that share his beliefs. That’s a great thing. He has literally put his money where his mouth is. Except that his mouth isn’t saying much of anything. Or better stated: Gianforte is only talking about what Gianforte wants to talk about.” LINK.


KULR 8: "We reached out to other gubernatorial candidates and asked them thoughts on Equal Pay Day. Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte was unavailable today..." LINK


Yellowstone Public Radio“he refused to answer directly when asked by Yellowstone Public Radio if he would sign a so-called “religious freedom” bill if elected governor.” LINK.

Washington Post“And in Montana, the likely Republican gubernatorial nominee has declined to say whether he would sign a North Carolina-style bill.” LINK.

Yellowstone Public Radio“Gianforte did not say, if elected, whether he would sign a so-called religious freedom bill.” LINK.

Bozeman Daily Chronicle“Flint said the campaign isn’t familiar with the North Carolina bill.” LINK.

Independent-Record"Gianforte refused to say whether he would repeal Bullock’s executive action upon taking office or to comment on a bill that could expand such protections statewide, saying he would need to see the details first." LINK.

Chamber of Commerce18 second pause and "ummm" when asked about pro-discrimination laws. LINK

MSU EventGianforte responds to question about pro-discrimination laws: "next question" LINK

Politico"Gianforte has been largely silent on social issues, even as the fights over them have merged with debate over the business climate in different states. Gianforte's campaign spokesman declined to comment." LINK

Billings GazetteAsked if he could point to examples of religious freedom being infringed in Montana, he paused and said “I’m just thinking” but did not name any incidencesLINK


Hometown Helena Q: "As governor, will you advocate and act to defund Planned Parenthood and end abortion?" Gianforte: "Yeah, so I'm running because we're 49th in the country in wages." LINK.

Billings Gazette: "On other topics, he has declined to discuss details or confirm his stance as a candidate. For instance, he said he is pro-life but refused to talk about whether he would support anti-abortion legislation as governor." LINK

Billings Gazette: "Gianforte also described himself as pro-life. He declined to say if he would support legislation to expand restrictions on abortion." LINK


AP"Aaron Flint, a spokesman for the Gianforte campaign, declined to discuss the details of the purchases."  LINK.

AP"Gianforte declined to answer questions about how much of his personal fortune he would be pumping into his campaign." LINK.

AP“Gianforte sidestepped questions about whether he would call on outside groups to refrain from spending funds on his behalf.” LINK.

Montana Public Radio“Yeah…I haven’t decided if I’m going to write a check to the campaign or not.” LINK.

ABC/FOX"While at the capitol, we reached out to Gianforte about his challenge to the Governor, but he declined to comment." LINK.

Great Falls Tribune"he walked into the governor’s office in Helena, dropped off a copy of the pledge and a letter to the governor, then left without talking to the handful of media gathered." LINK.


Daily Inter Lake: “He declined to say whether he personally supported the dark money bill.” LINK

Independent-Record"Gianforte declined to say whether he supported the Disclose Act, noting he was not in a position in which he had to make a decision." LINK

Montana Public Radio Q“Will you support funding from these 501 c-4 groups...these groups that don’t have to disclose who their donors are?”  Gianforte: “At this point I am only taking money from individuals.” LINK.


Billings Gazette“Gianforte has advocated for school choice and called a new state tax credit for private school tuition “a step in the right direction.” He has said he supports public schools, too, but insists that parents should get to make the decision. He has declined to discuss any related policy proposals he might bring forward.” LINK

Independent-Record Q"If there are areas of education where we need to be spending more money, does that imply that there are areas where we need to be spending less, given current resources rights?" Gianforte: "Um, I don't know that that's, I don't have any, no immediate wants occur to me." LINK.

Hometown Helena Q"Does that, to push for a specific answer to my question, that sounds like you're saying the theory of intelligent design and the Darwinian theory of evolution should be taught on equal terms as is done in Petra, and the student's taught to evaluate those doctrines on their merits, now is that what you think?" Gianforte: "Um, you know I haven't made a statement about that at all." LINK.

Montana Public Radio Q“Does that mean you support funding for private and religious schools in Montana?” Gianforte: “At this point I’m not going to go into specific policy issues because we’re still exploring...” LINK.

Billings Gazette Q"So the question is just what is your spiel on, make your pitch on where you stand with some earth science and you know, fossil record." Gianforte: "So I don’t know how old the Earth is, I wasn’t there." LINK.


Helena Independent-Record“He said he is not ready to concede that the rules would be implemented as is and did not have ideas about how to help the coal industry thrive should that happen.” LINK.

Missoula-Sunrise Rotary QWhat should we do with the coal tax severance fund, how should it be used? Gianforte: "You know, I don’t have a specific proposal for that." [Missoula Sunrise Rotary, 3/23/16]


Intelligent Discontent“In stops in Butte and Ekalaka, Gianforte repeated his refusal to offer a substantive comment on Right to Work...In Ekalaka, after an incredibly long pause, Gianforte avoided answering the question, noting that he was being recorded by a Democratic tracker.” LINK.

Missoula Current: “The board also criticized GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte for canceling a scheduled interview with the AFL-CIO 'without notice.'”  LINK.


Independent-Record Q"So if this, if a bill came through.  And it went passed the house and the senate.  Based on 100% bonding.  Or 75% bonding.  And it hit your desk as governor.  Are you going to say "no I don't like the way is funded," or because it went through the house and senate, you'd let it go on?" Gianforte: "Well, I'm not going to comment on a hypothetical bill." LINK.


Billings Gazette“[Gianforte spokesman Aaron] Flint said the Department of Public Health and Human Services needs new leadership. ‘We may also need to look at shifting some of their responsibilities to other ‘agencies or departments if they are unable to get the ship steered in the right direction,” Flint wrote. The campaign did not elaborate on what such changes might look like or why they felt the agency needed to change directions.” LINK


Big Fork Eagle“It was clear that Gianforte knew very little about the water compact passed last year between the Legislature and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. He said he likes to put “smart people” around him to help him make tough decisions, and he was honest enough to tell me he really was not up to speed on the compact, saying that it was a policy decision he didn’t have to make.” LINK.

Voices of Montana“Would I have signed it? I'm not sure. I wasn't intimately involved with the details.” [Voices of Montana, 1/29/16]

Troy campaign event“I don’t know that I would have signed it the way it exists.” [Troy, 2/17/16]


Hometown Helena Q: "What would you do?" Gianforte: “You know I have to look at it. I don’t have a specific answer for you now.” LINK.


Hometown Helena Q: "Can you talk about the role you see, the importance that you would place on Montana state support of the arts and culture?  And specifically with support of the Montana Arts Council, the Montana Film Office and the Montana Historical Society." Gianforte: "So that's a long list, I'm sorry I haven't the details on all of them." LINK.

Hometown Helena Q"Under your administration would you see a decrease in funding for the Art Council?" Gianforte: "You know, I don't have the details."  LINK.


Hometown Helena Q"You mentioned in the context of federal overreach, what's your sense for the sage-grouse issue and the resolution of it?" Gianforte: "So uh, again, I'll start by...I don't have all the answers." LINK.


Hometown Helena Q"Would you consider forming a state bank like North Dakota?" Gianforte: "...You know I haven’t looked at it." LINK.


Voices of Montana Q"Greg, who at this point in the campaign, who are you supporting for president of the United States right now?" Gianforte: "Well, I have not declared yet." [Voices of Montana, 1/29/16, 21:28]

Montana Public Radio Q"Who do you like currently for president?" Gianforte: “You know…I haven’t declared in that…” LINK.

Roundup campaign event Q: "Who’s your choice for President?" Gianforte: "You know, I haven’t made a suggestion. I haven’t made a selection yet. I uh…Well I uh, we’re seeing some things. I am going to vote for one of the Republican candidates."  [Q: I’m going to hold my nose and vote Republican] Gianforte: "So I don’t. We’re. Given that two people are recording this conversation, I’m not going to go any further than that." [Regulation Roundup, Roundup, 2/04/16]

Ryegate campaign event Q"I have one more question; if all the 2016 Republican candidates for president were still running, who would get your vote and why. Gianforte:  Good question, I haven't made a selection, I recognize, I'm, and I don't mean to, maybe I do mean to dodge the question but I'm, the, uh, on that particular issue I have not made a selection yet." [Ryegate, Regulation Round-up, 2/04/16]


ABC/FOX"We attempted several times today to talk directly to Mr. Gianforte, but he declined." LINK.

Billings Gazette"Gianforte declined to answer press questions Thursday." LINK.

Montana Public Radio"Reporters at the kick-off campaign event followed Gianforte around after his remarks, but he refused to answer questions. He promptly left for his remaining campaign stops." LINK.

Montana Public RadioSally Mauk says: "he announced by barnstorming the state, hoping the press would cover all his stops, but also not wanting the press to ask him any questions."... "he's gonna have to shift gears here very quickly and start talking to the press now that he's an official candidate." LINK.

Missoula Current"Aaron Flint, a member of the campaign, told the Missoula Current before Thursday’s event that Gianforte would not be speaking with reporters." LINK.

Billings Gazette"The candidate did not address those criticisms in his announcement. He had not responded to questions from the Gazette about those criticisms by press time." LINK.

Montana PBS@BethSaboe: "At @GregForMontana announcement in #Bozeman for his bid for 2016 Gov race. @aaronflint made it clear he won't be taking questions." LINK

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