Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio phoned into the Fox News Channel Friday night to react to the violence that broke out ahead of a Donald Trump Chicago rally.
The Florida senator, who said it was clear the protest was an “orchestrated” attempt to disrupt Trump’s rally, said the images were “very disturbing for a lot of reasons.”
“No one is blameless here,” Rubio said. “Perhaps I wouldn’t say Mr. Trump is responsible for the event tonight. But he most certainly has in other events used some pretty rough language, encouraging the crowd.”
“Saying things like, ‘In the good old days we used to beat these people up.’ Or, ‘I’ll pay your legal bills if rough them up.’ So I think he bears some responsibility for the general tone of the things that are happening,” he continued. “As far as what is happening tonight, clearly this is an orchestrated effort. Some people are probably being paid to do this. I think it’s just sad all the way around. To see these images where there’s clearly some level of racial and ethnic divide playing out on television. I think it reflects very poorly on our country. … I am very sad for our country.”
Rubio also argued that Trump’s brash rhetoric on the campaign trail does have consequences.
“You can’t just say whatever you want. These words have real consequences. … When you’re president even more so,” he said.
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