WASHINGTON -- In the final days of the GOP primary for Montana's lone U.S. House seat, the contenders are fighting to show who's the most conservative in the race -- and for at least one of them, that involves stating his belief that President Barack Obama should be impeached over the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.
Ryan Zinke, a former state senator and Navy SEAL, made his views known during a recent debate in Kalispell, Montana. Zinke is one of five GOP candidates running in Tuesday's primary for the seat, which is being vacated by Rep. Steve Daines (R).
During the debate, held May 27, tea party activist and fellow House candidate Drew Turiano asked Zinke whether he would support efforts to impeach Obama.
Zinke replied that Benghazi is a "sensitive" issue for him.
"Benghazi was ugly on three sides," he replied. "One is that it should never have happened, because it was gross negligence and no one was fired. Secondly, the reason why [CIA contractors] Ty [Woods] and Glenn [Doherty] died is because for seven hours, they asked for help and our country gave them nothing. For seven hours, our country gave them nothing."
"And last: a lie," he continued. "It wasn't about a video. And so, who did construct the story? Who told [then-U.N. Ambassador] Susan Rice to go around and lie to Americans in place of Secretary Hillary [Clinton]? Who did? And I would like to know."
Zinke added that he was confident Republicans would win back the House and the Senate in the fall midterm elections, meaning the party would be better positioned to find answers to these questions.
"And then I do believe we can put the president on the run. He's had six years of doing his will to this country, and I believe that's intentional dismantling of American power both domestically and abroad," said Zinke. "So is impeachment in the cards? Let's hope we have the votes."
Turiano, not completely satisfied with Zinke's response, replied, "Is that a yes or a no?"
"Yes," said Zinke.
Watch video of the exchange above.
Turiano has been an outspoken advocate of impeaching the president. He has rented six billboards across the state that read, "Drew Turiano for Congress. Impeach Obama!"
Zinke, meanwhile, attracted attention in January when he called former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the "anti-Christ."
Before declaring his candidacy for Congress, Zinke started an anti-Obama super PAC called Special Operations for America. Zinke has reaped the benefits of the group, which has run ads touting his candidacy and even encouraged people to back him before he officially jumped into the race -- an arrangement that has raised eyebrows among campaign finance experts and other Montana Republicans.