Montana GOP Gov. Greg Gianforte defends lifting the mask mandate in his state after criticism from President Biden.
Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte said President Biden “degraded” himself, following comments he made comparing red-state governors to Neanderthal’s.
Gianforte explained that hospitalizations are down and Montana is “open for business” during an appearance on “Fox & Friends,” asserting that a “one-size fits all” approach to coronavirus mandates “doesn’t make sense” for the needs of every state.
“For a president that called for unity to degrade himself to name-calling, doesn’t make any sense at all,” Gianforte told Steve Doocy.
Gianforte said that by removing the mask mandate and prioritizing resources to those most vulnerable, the state is seeing “great results.”
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As an example of the impracticality of continuing mask mandates for the western state, Gianforte added that of the 56 counties in the state, one county is nearly three times the size of Rhode Island with only 1,000 residents.
The president has received criticism from many prominent Republicans, including Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
“President Biden’s use of an old stereotype is hurtful to modern Europeans, Asians & Americans who inherit about 2% of their genes from Neanderthal ancestors,” wrote Rubio, who linked out to an article in the tweet Thursday.
Rubio suggested Biden “seek training on the unconscious bias” and called on the president to “apologize for his insensitive comments.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott asserted that Biden’s border immigration policies were “Neanderthal thinking,” and accused the president of releasing illegal immigrants into the state, unnecessarily exposing Texas residents.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said President Biden’s “Neanderthal thinking” comment about states removing their mask mandates was due to his “frustration and exasperation.”
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Biden also appeared to clarify his statement, claiming that he was speaking to the decision-making of the governors, not that he was actually calling them Neanderthal’s. Gianforte echoed Abbott’s criticism of Biden’s border policies.
“In Montana, we are concerned about meth coming across the border. It’s ripping our families and communities apart. And opening these borders back up, it’s just not good for our communities here in Montana,” he said.
Fox News’ Houston Keene and Joshua Q. Nelson contributed to this report.
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