Sen. Jon Tester of Montana says he’s ‘trying to cut back’ on dropping f-bombs

Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana at a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on September 14, 2021.
Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana at a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on September 14, 2021. Evelyn Hockstein/Pool/AFP/Getty Images
  • Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, a moderate Democrat critical to Biden’s agenda, swears a lot.
  • “We always do this fucking dance,” Tester said in September, referring to the debt ceiling.
  • “I’ve been trying to cut back, okay?” Tester said, adding that staffers have tried to get him to stop swearing.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, one of just a handful of Senate Democrats representing a state that former President Donald Trump won by double digits, is crucial to Democrats’ policy agenda. He also swears a lot.

“We always do this fucking dance,” Tester told POLITICO in September amidst a standoff over government funding and the debt ceiling. “I don’t know if people are going to put their sane minds on and do what needs to be done, or shut it down. This is just a ridiculous exercise … I can’t even compare it to anything I do on the farm that’s this stupid.”

According to a new POLITICO profile of the Democratic senator published on Thursday, fellow Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota recently congratulated Tester on his “nice quote” following a meeting at the White House. Tester recounts the exchange, where he initially rejected Klobuchar’s characterization of his words.

“Come on. I didn’t say fucking,” Tester said,

“Oh no, you said fucking,” Klobuchar reportedly replied.

“Goddammit. I’m trying to wean myself off of this,” he replied.

“I don’t think he’s any worse than any of us. He’s just less restrained around reporters,” Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado told POLITICO.

Unlike fellow red-stater Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Tester is choosing not to hold up the Democrats’ $US3.5 ($AU5) trillion social spending bill. He says that’s because he prefers to register his disagreements quietly versus out in the open.

“It’s hard for Chuck right now, dealing with the Bernie-Warren faction and the Manchin-Sinema faction. I don’t want to add to that,” Tester told POLITICO. “They’re going to hear me complain and bitch and holler and scream when I don’t like it, but it’s not going to be in front of you. And I’m going to be very specific in what I want.”

Even as he was interviewed, Tester swore repeatedly. “Oh, no, fuck that. That’s not my style,” he replied to a question about whether he’d retire rather than run again. Tester also said he’s been trying to quit swearing at the behest of his staffers.

“I’ve been trying to cut back, okay?” Tester told POLITICO.