NEW YORK, March 13, 2016 – Donald Trump continued to refuse to accept responsibility for the violence that erupts during his campaign rallies. Last week, one protester was punched in the face, a man attempted to rush the stage but was stopped by the Secret Service and Trump cancelled his Chicago rally because of fighting inside the arena. Trump blamed the victim when asked about the man who was punched by a Trump supporter.
“I will tell you from what I saw, the young man stuck his finger up in the air, and the other man sort of just had it,” told Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “But I still, I don’t condone violence.” “He went absolutely wild punching, and frankly, when they punch, it’s okay. When my people punch back because they have to out of self-defense, everybody says, ‘Oh, isn’t that terrible?’ The fact is, that we have very peaceful rallies.”
Donald Trump on Saturday called for protesters who disrupt his rallies to be arrested, one day after altercations and protests forced him to cancel a campaign rally in Chicago. Trump also accused Bernie Sanders’ supporters of sowing unrest at his events and the GOP front-runner refused to back down from his rhetoric that some have cited as the cause of heightened tension at his rallies. Trump’s call to arrest protesters came at a campaign event in Kansas City, Missouri, where he was repeatedly interrupted at the beginning of his address.
“I’m going to ask that you arrest them,” Trump said to the police. “I’ll file whatever charges you want. If they want to do this … we’re going to go strongly for your arrests.”
Trump said by arresting the protesters, would lead to ruin the rest of their lives, by giving them a big arrest mark. As dozens of protesters disrupted Trump’s rally inside a Kansas City theater, crowds of demonstrators gathered outside. Trump blamed the growing tension at his rallies on people being “sick and tired of this country being run by incompetent people that don’t know what they’re doing on trade deals, where our jobs are being ripped out of our countries.”
“They’re not angry about something I’m saying. I’m just a messenger,” he said. “The people are angry about the fact that for 12 years, the workers in this country haven’t had a pay increase.”
By Saturday morning, Kasich — who, like Cruz, had declined to blame Trump for violence at his rallies, called a news conference to denounce Trump. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz accused Trump of encouraging his supporters to physically assault activists.