Stapleton said Livingstone showed up at campaign functions wearing flashy suits, looking like someone who has spent their professional life in Washington D.C.
"I have never seen him get any traction at these events," said Stapleton, adding that Livingstone "doesn't appear to be a Montanan."
Livingstone has never been ordinary.
In high school, he scored a bargain on a rare coin collection and used the profits to buy a Ferrari — a rare sight in 1960s Helena. He arranges meetings in military time.
Livingstone's biography does not show that he has ever worked for the U.S. government or the CIA, other than a stint as a congressional staffer, but he said that is only because he has worked in classified capacities he can't discuss.
His only military experience came in the Vietnam-era Army Reserve.
He said "serendipity" led him into the unique counterterrorism world after he left a job working in politics in the 1970s and ended up taking a friends' advice to go work for Air America — covertly owned and operated by the CIA.
Over the years he says he has been a partner in Air Panama airlines, director of an Oregon helicopter company and a frequent terrorism expert for television news programs. He has authored many low circulation books.
Leaving that more exotic world behind, Livingstone is appealing in his campaign to out-of-work Montanans and day laborers, struggling families and others he says are frustrated by "the radical environmentalists (who) don't give a damn about working folks in this state."
He promises big changes and fast action if he is governor. He called his opponents with political histories in Montana "retreads from the past."
"I can promise you it will be a lot more exciting if I am governor," he said of the usual sort of meetings and hearings. "Ryan Zinke and I are different than any of the other candidates. We are running on a very different platform. We are going to step on toes and get things done."
He said they have promised to cut "red tape" by 50 percent, get rid of regulations that slow business and use the office to stymie environmentalists opposed to resource development.
"We aim to turn this state upside down in order to get it moving in the right direction."