Replacing Rosendale


Denny Rehberg, Republican candidate for Montana's eastern U.S. House seat

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Posted at 9:00 PM, May 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-01 23:27:24-04

BILLINGS — Denny Rehberg is certainly no stranger to politics having spent more than a decade as Montana’s then lone representative in Congress.

He’s touting that experience as what sets him apart from a crowded field of Republicans in the race to replace Matt Rosendale.

“So what makes me stand out? Experience, enthusiasm, knowledge and been there,” he says.

(Watch: MTN's profile on Denny Rehberg)

Denny Rehberg, Republican candidate for Montana's eastern U.S. House seat

A fifth generation Montanan, Rehberg still lives on the ranch north of Billings that he grew up on. He went to school in Billings and graduated from Billings West High School. He and his wife have two adult children and are expecting their fifth grandchild.

Rehberg has been around politics much of his life—following in the footsteps of his father, Jack, who served in the Montana Legislature.

“I just kind of grew up in it understanding that public service matters and this is what this is all about. I’m 68. I’m not running for a career right now. I’m running for the next generation,” he says.

Rehberg served in Congress from 2000 to 2012 where he chaired several committees. He then made a run for Senate but lost to Democrat Jon Tester in the election. Afterwards he and his wife, Jan, built and ran a half dozen fast food restaurants.

He says his number one issue is the economy and that his experience sets him apart from the other candidates.

“I was in charge of the budget for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Obamacare. I did it all,” he says.

He says one of his top priorities would be controlling government spending.

“You cannot continue to spend money that you don’t have, so the first thing you do to fix the economy is control spending,” he says.

Denny Rehberg

Rehberg says he’s excited about the possibility of working with Donald Trump if both are elected.

“Somebody said is there anything you disagree with Donald Trump about? I said yeah, one thing. He doesn’t drink beer,” Rehberg jokingly said.

“He doesn’t always say it the right way but so what? He breaks glass. When he gets in there, he is going to hit the ground running and he is going to need someone help him. He doesn’t need a congressman in training that is going to take two or three years to learn the system,”

Rehberg’s views on other issues fall in line with most of the Republicans in this race. He wants more border security. He says he supports Israel and Ukraine, but questions if money is going where it is supposed to in Ukraine.

He also describes himself as pro-life.

“Rape, incest, and life of the mother I understand. I’m not going to debate weeks and months and days and all of that. I’m pro-life,” he says.

Rehberg admits that his views aren’t drastically different than most of his Republican competitors but says there is one main difference—his experience in Washington.

“We all understand exactly the same issues, but there is only one congressman who can hit the ground running and that’s me.”

Rehberg is just one of 12 candidates, including eight Republicans, running for the eastern district House seat. You can find interviews with all of them here.