Reactions to the disturbing incidents of violence at Donald Trump’s rallies have poured in from both sides of the aisle, with President Obama and House Speaker Paul Ryan weighing in earlier today.
We rounded up the reactions that matter most right now—those of the current presidential candidates:
“It is clear that Donald Trump is running a very cynical campaign pitting groups of Americans against one another. He is trafficking in hate and fear. He actually incites violence in the way he urges his audience on, talking about punching people, offering to pay legal bills.”
“Donald Trump should not be condoning violence by paying the legal fees of a supporter who viciously attacked a protestor at one of his rallies. He should tone down his rhetoric and condemn the violence of some of his supporters.”
“Trump has to get on the TV and tell his supporters that violence in the political process in America is not acceptable, end of discussion.”
– Sen. Bernie Sanders
“I think a campaign bears responsibility for creating an environment. When a candidate urges supporters to engage in physical violence, to punch people in the face, the predictable consequence of that is that it escalates, and today is unlikely to be the last such instance.”
—Sen. Ted Cruz
“I would point out there isn’t violence at my events, there isn’t violence at Ted’s events, there isn’t violence at a Kasich event, there isn’t violence at a Sanders event, there isn’t violence at a Clinton event. There’s only one presidential candidate who has violence at their events.”
“I want to be clear: I am not telling you what happened there tonight is something I blame [Trump] for because I will tell you those people there are professional protesters in an array of different interest groups. I guarantee you some of these people are being paid to do this.”
“President Obama has spent the last eight years dividing Americans among haves and have-nots, along ethnic lines, racial lines, gender lines in order to win elections. I think this has gone to the next level here, and we’re seeing the consequences of it.”
– Sen. Marco Rubio
“Tonight the seeds of division that Donald Trump has been sowing this whole campaign finally bore fruit, and it was ugly. Some let their opposition to his views slip beyond protest into violence, but we can never let that happen. I urge people to resist that temptation and rise to a higher level.
We are stronger together, we will reject those who try to divide us for personal gain and we will do it the right way—at the ballot box.”
– Gov. John Kasich