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Ted Cruz Suggests Violence at Donald Trump’s Chicago Rally ‘Starts at the Top’

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Texas Senator Ted Cruz appeared in a western suburb of Chicago only moments after it was confirmed that GOP frontrunner Donald Trump had canceled his downtown Chicago rally due to a threat of mob violence.

Cruz said the “anger and rage” came from the top of the campaign. Without saying Donald Trump’s name, Cruz continued saying Trump’s campaign has “created an environment that only encourages this sort of nasty discord.”

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Cruz spent a few minutes speaking off the cuff to the press before he took the podium to speak at the annual Northwest Suburban Lincoln Day Dinner held in the western suburbs about 25 miles outside Chicago.

“I think a campaign bears responsibility for creating an environment, when the 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,” Cruz said in a sorrowful tone.

“That’s not how our politics should occur,” he added.

As Cruz ended his brief comments to the press, the Senator raised the specter of the riots that plagued the 1968 Democrat convention held in Chicago, riots that ripped the city apart.

“You know, the City of Chicago in 1968 saw some ugly days when politics descended into hatred and incivility and even violence and it is my hope that in 2016 that we can appeal to our better angels and avoid going down that road once again,” Cruz concluded.

The Senator later spoke before the gathered Republicans at the Lincoln Day dinner giving a typical stump speech without mentioning the troubles Trump found in the Windy City.

I also want to mention something about the events this evening in Chicago. This is a sad day. Political discourse should occur in this country without a threat of violence without anger and rage and hatred directed at each other. We need to learn to have disagreements without being disagreeable, to have disagreements while being respecting human beings on the other side.

Earlier today over thirty people were arrested at one rally. And then tonight as violence broke out the rally was canceled altogether. Now, the responsibility for that lies with protesters who took violence into their own hands. But in any campaign responsibility starts at the top. Any candidate 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’s facing allegations of physical violence against members of the press, you create an environment that only encourages this sort of nasty discord.

He was asked if Trump should have canceled the rally.

I think that the decision should be based on public safety. But I think a campaign bears responsibility for creating an environment, when the 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. We earlier today in St. Louis over thirty arrested. That’s not how our politics should occur.

You know, the City of Chicago in 1968 saw some ugly days when politics descended into hatred and incivility and even violence and it is my hope that in 2016 that we can appeal to our better angels and avoid going down that road once again.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com


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