I stand with Ted……
Chicago, Trump’s Incitements, and Cruz’s Response
by ANDREW C. MCCARTHY March 12, 2016 4:35 PM
It is ludicrous to argue that, because the hard Left is primarily responsible for the outbreak of chaos and violence that caused Donald Trump’s Chicago rally to be canceled last night, it is wrong to condemn the thuggery Trump often encourages at his appearances.
Trump has encouraged physical battery at his campaign events, even telling supporters he’d pay their legal fees if they get arrested for assaulting dissenters. (See, e.g., Iowa event: ”So if you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of ‘em, would you? Seriously. Okay? Just knock the hell — I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees. I promise. I promise”; see also Las Vegas event: regarding an unruly protester removed by security, Trump tells crowd, “I’d like to punch him in the face. He’s smiling, having a good time.”) Trump has continued to fan these flames even after it has become obvious that some of his supporters are acting on the invitation to resort to violence. Incitement to violence is a crime; incitement to violence at a large rally is incitement to riot — a crime that can get people badly injured or even killed.
It is slanderous to claim, as Trump hacks have, that Ted Cruz sided with the hard Left protesters. Cruz — whom I support for the GOP nomination — clearly said,
“as violence broke out, [Trump’s] rally was canceled all together. Now, the responsibility for that lies with protesters who took violence into their own hands. That’s true and it was important to say it.
The next thing Cruz said was also exactly right:
[I]n any campaign responsibility starts at the top. Any candidate who is responsible for the culture of the campaign. 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.”
That is not an indictment of Donald Trump for what lawless protesters did in Chicago. It is an indictment of Trump for encouraging rogue behavior, which inevitably begets more rogue behavior and perversely enables thugs to portray their thuggery as justifiable retaliation.