PHOENIX, Ariz. — Hillary Clinton blamed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for inciting violence at his rallies, saying that she’s never seen anything like this 2016 cycle before.
Without specifically mentioning the businessman and GOP front-runner by name, Clinton clearly alluded to recent violent incidents at Trump’s rallies, and suggesting that the candidate deserves some of the blame.
“It’s been deeply distressing to me to see the divisiveness, the mean-spiritedness, the incitement of violence and aggressiveness in this campaign,” she said at a rally at Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, Ariz. “I don’t ever remember anything like it, to be honest with you. I just don’t.”
At a Trump rally in Tucson on Saturday, a man was caught on video apparently punching and kicking a protester. Trump’s own campaign manager has been accused of physically assaulting a Breitbart reporter and at least one protester.
Clinton echoed President Barack Obama’s phrasing on violence stemming from Trump’s rhetoric: “Pitting groups of Americans against each other, it just is wrong,” she said. “It’s not who we are.”
The Democratic front-runner is currently leading Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the state of Arizona by 30 points, according to Real Clear Politics. Democratic voters will also go to the polls in Utah tomorrow.
But Clinton appeared to be in general election mode in Phoenix on Monday, focusing her attention on Trump. She told the crowd that the stakes are getting higher and higher in the 2016 election because of the escalating rhetoric.
“You know what folks, anger is not a strategy,” she said.
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