GOP gubernatorial candidate cribbed language from Eric Greitens' campaign website

A Republican candidate in the Georgia governor's race might be taking the expression imitation is the sincerest f...

Posted: Apr 28, 2018 1:34 PM
Updated: Apr 28, 2018 1:34 PM

A Republican candidate in the Georgia governor's race might be taking the expression imitation is the sincerest form of flattery a little too literally.

At first glance, state Sen. Hunter Hill's campaign website looks like that of any other Republican candidate. He touts his experience as an Army Ranger, rails against crippling regulations and promises to defend religious liberty.

But the campaign website is more than just a little similar to Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, who ran a successful bid for governor in 2016. (Greitens now finds himself facing the threat of impeachment after being indicted on two felony charges -- one for invasion of privacy and another one for computer tampering in separate cases. Greitens denies any wrongdoing.)

In several instances on Hill's platform page, there are multiple examples of nearly identical phrases to what was on Greitens' old website.

Here's Hill on agriculture:

I will fight against crippling regulations from the EPA and federal overreach and always side with the hard-working farmers of Georgia.

And here was Greitens:

I will fight against these crippling regulations, and always side with the hard working farmers and ranchers of Missouri.

Here is Hill on religious liberty:

I believe we must protect the religious liberties and the beliefs of all Georgians.

And Greitens:

I believe we must protect the religious liberties and the beliefs of all Missourians.

Here's Hill on veterans:

Making Georgia the best state in the country for veterans is one of my top priorities... I believe big government is failing our veterans...

And Greitens:

I believe big government is failing our veterans. As Governor, I will make it my mission to make Missouri the best state in America for veterans to live, work, build businesses, and raise their families.

Here's Hill on public safety:

As Governor, I'll make public safety a priority and be sure they have the training, equipment, and funding they need to do their job.

And (you guessed it!) here's Greitens:

As Governor, I'll make sure that they have the training, the equipment, and the support that they need to do their job.

The similarities don't stop there. The websites themselves look similar in how they are organized. Their social media accounts even feature buses with near-matching bumper sticker slogans ("honk if you're tired of career politicians").

A spokesperson for Hill's campaign chalked up the similarities in language to the candidates' similarities in positions.

"Hundreds of Republicans across the country are running on less government, lower taxes, and more freedom -- Hunter included. You'll find dozens of conservatives talking about the issues you sent over," Hill campaign communications director Cody Hall said.

Hall added that their campaign bus looks much different than the one depicted online. And on the similar bumper sticker slogans, he said, "In a political environment that elected Donald Trump, I think you'll be seeing a lot more about candidates and voters being tired of career politicians."

Hall told CNN's KFile that no one who works on Hill's campaign worked for Greitens' 2016 campaign and said the content on the website "was a collaboration of Hill team members."

Both Greitens and Hill made ads featuring themselves shooting rifles to boast their credentials. Hall has a point when he tells CNN's KFile that it's not "shocking or out of the realm of common political advertising in the 21st century" to see two veterans shoot a gun in a political ad.

"Regrettably, Hunter didn't blow anything up in ours," he added.

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