Ted Cruz reacted to the violence that erupted at a Donald Trump rally Friday night, arguing that the brash billionaire did bear some responsibility for the chaos that unfolded ahead of his scheduled speech.
“This is a sad day,” Cruz told reporters. “Political discourse should occur in this country without a threat of violence, without anger and rage and hatred directed at each other. We need to learn to have disagreements without being disagreeable. To have disagreements while respecting human beings on the other side.”
Cruz said that “the responsibility” belonged to the “protesters who took violence in their own hands.” But he also suggested Trump wasn’t innocent either.
“But in any campaign responsibility starts at the top. Any candidate who is responsible for the culture of the campaign,” the Texas senator said. “And when you have a campaign that disrespects the voters, when you have a campaign that affirmatively encourages violence, when you have a campaign that is facing allegations of physical violence against members of the press, you create an environment that only encourages this sort of nasty discourse.”
“I think a campaign bears responsibility for creating an environment,” Cruz added. “When the candidate urges supporters to engage in physical violence, to punch people in the face. The predicable consequence of that is that it escalates. And today is unlikely to be the last such instance. … That is not how our politics should occur.”
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