The two Democratic presidential contenders issued statements today in the aftermath of last night’s violence at a cancelled Donald Trump rally in Chicago.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders issued the following statement:
“As is the case virtually every day, Donald Trump is showing the American people that he is a pathological liar. Obviously, while I appreciate that we had supporters at Trump’s rally in Chicago, our campaign did not organize the protests.
“What caused the protests at Trump’s rally is a candidate that has promoted hatred and division against Latinos, Muslims, women, and people with disabilities, and his birther attacks against the legitimacy of President Obama.
“What caused the violence at Trump’s rally is a campaign whose words and actions have encouraged it on the part of his supporters. He recently said of a protester, ‘I want to punch him in the face.’ Another time Trump yearned for the old days when the protester would have been punched and “carried out on a stretcher.’ Then just a few days ago a female reporter apparently was assaulted by his campaign manager.
“When that is what the Trump campaign is doing, we should not be surprised that there is a response.
“What Donald Trump must do now is stop provoking violence and make it clear to his supporters that people who attend his rallies or protest should not be assaulted, should not be punched, should not be kicked. In America people have a right to attend a political rally without fear of physical harm.”
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said this at an event in St. Louis today:
“The ugly, divisive rhetoric we are hearing from Donald Trump and the encouragement of violence and aggression is wrong, and it’s dangerous.
“If you play with matches, you’re going to start a fire you can’t control. That’s not leadership. That’s political arson.”