Eric Greitens, a U.S. Navy SEAL veteran who is running in the Republican primary to replace retiring Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), released another controversial campaign ad on Wednesday in which he vows to fight “with an army of patriots.”
Greitens’ ad kicks off with the former SEAL climbing out of a truck, grabbing a rifle and declaring, “We’re back.”
“I’m no career politician,” the former Missouri governor says. “I’m a Navy SEAL and I’ll take dead aim at ‘politics as usual.’”
“Everyone also remembers: because I fought for you, they came after me. Well, we’re back – wiser, stronger, still fighting – and this time, with an Army of patriots,” he continues as soldiers in tactical gear stand up around him.
The ad features multiple firearms and explosions and concludes with the tagline: “Conservative. Outsider. Navy SEAL.”
On the same day that Greitens released his latest political ad, Navy veteran and writer Ken Harbaugh — who claims to be a 30-year friend of Greitens — shared a video on Twitter slamming Greitens as a “broken man who will do anything, including inciting violence, to regain power.”
“Eric, I know you must be in a dark place to think what you’re doing is worth it,” Harbaugh said before describing a years-long relationship with Greitens.
“I remember your excitement coming back from the Democratic Convention and what it meant to see America’s first black president elected. I went to your weddings. Your speech at the first one about saving the worms, I still remember it,” he continued. “Some of my best memories are just the two of us figuring out how to build a veterans organization. Do we take the Clinton Foundation money or not?”
“That giant portrait of JFK in your office spoke volumes about your leadership values. I remember when you called to say you were running for governor. You had decided to do it as a Republican, but I figured a pro-choice, pro-gay marriage governor would be a win for Missouri,” he said.
Harbaugh described how Greitens asked both him and his mother for a donation. They both agreed, Harbaugh said, but “things have not gone as I expected.”
“Eric, I want you to know that there are worse things in life than running for office honorably and losing. Trust me. I’ve done that. What you are doing now is not honorable and it is not a reflection of the Eric I knew,” Harbaugh continued.
“Even if you do win, you’re going to lose more than you can imagine by campaigning like this,” he added, highlighting Greitens’ previous campaign ad in which he and a group of men with rifles and tactical gear storm into a house as he calls for viewers to hunt “RINOs.”
“Eric, what you’re doing now is going to get someone killed. Do the right thing. Drop out. Focus on repairing the damage you have done. And pray it’s not too late,” he concluded.
According to a new poll from The Hill and Emerson College, Greitens is leading the Republican primary field in Missouri. Of 1,000 likely GOP primary voters in the state who took part in the survey, Greitens earned 26 percent of the support. Attorney General Eric Schmitt came in second with 20 percent and Rep. Vicky Hartzler came in third with 16 percent.