Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, but especially to #1 Montana dad candidate Matthew Rosendale.
Rosendale, also the state GOP’s newly minted challenger to Sen. Jon Tester, pulled out of a debate against his fellow flat-topper that was scheduled by the Montana Broadcasters Association for June 17 in Whitefish. “This debate was scheduled and organized without any input or agreement to attend from our campaign — and it was scheduled on Father’s Day,” Rosendale comms director Shane Scanlon told the Billings Gazette. “We didn’t agree to attend since Matt is spending the day with his wife and sons, and he’s not moving that around nor should he.”
If the name Scanlon rings any bells, that’s because he’s the former Gianforte campaign flack who dutifully blamed the bell-ringing of Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs on the reporter. Scanlon’s now-infamous post-body slam, pre-election night statement accused Jacobs of initiating the scuffle by grabbing Gianforte’s wrist — a claim the Montana’s lone U.S. Congressman admitted was untrue after he’d won the special election.
Scanlon’s Father’s Day alibi for Rosendale is holding up just as well. NBC Montana — A Sinclair-owned station — reported that Rosendale had personally confirmed his debate participation to the company the week before. They even quoted him as saying, “You’ll see me in Whitefish,” before adding that he hoped Tester wouldn’t be able to “control this thing and keep other parties from participating.”
After bailing on the debate, Rosendale promptly headed to Washington, D.C., to spend time with his … donors. The campaign tweeted photos of the candidate palling with Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Steve Daines, and the Associated Press reported that lobbying firm the Keelen Group would host a fundraiser for him on Thursday, June 14. That should give Rosendale just enough time to fly home to Glendive to spend Father’s Day with his wife and three sons.
He should be lauded for his commitment to family values at least as much as for his commitment to donors. If voters can agree on anything, it’s that no man should have to sacrifice fundraising dollars to hone his talking points, and no politician should be forced to work on Father’s Day.
Thanks, Matt, for standing up for male politicians everywhere. Enjoy your day off.