On “Fox News Sunday,” Republican strategist Karl Rove said the protests and violence at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s rallies could help the candidate because groups like Moveon.org and Black Lives Matter are intentionally breaking up Trump rallies with organized demonstrations inside the halls. According to Rove, that is “fundamentally un-American.”
Partial transcript as follows:
WALLACE: Karl, do you expect all of this, about the rallies, the violence, do you expect it to have any impact on the vote on Tuesday? And if so, and I ask this as a genuinely open question, will it help Trump or hurt him?
KARL ROVE, GOP STRATEGIST: Well, I think it will tend to help him. Let’s divorce this two, this question, put it into two parts. Moveon.org, Black Lives Matter and others who — who have announced their desire to break up Trump rallies by organized demonstrations inside the halls. This is reprehensible behavior, worthy of the (INAUDIBLE) run by colonels in mirrored sunglasses. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton and the leaders of the civil rights movement have a moral obligation to speak openly to these groups and discourage them from doing so. Do whatever you want outside the rallies. Do whatever you want to do outside the hall in a peaceful fashion. But to — to have, as an organized aim, like the leader of moveon.org said, to get into these rallies and disrupt them is fundamentally un-American.
On the other hand — and I don’t want to make these morally equivalent because I don’t want it to be cause and effect — Donald Trump’s behavior at the rallies — “knock the crap out of them, will you? Seriously, just knock the hell — I promise I will pay for the legal fees, I promise, I promise.” I mean the declaration in his interview with you that he had a — that people had a right to do this? He wants to be president of the United States.
WALLACE: Talking about his supporters going after the protesters?
ROVE: Right. Yes, and he wants to be president of the United States. What president had — could you believe would indulge themselves in this kind of behavior?
WALLACE: So why do you think it’s going to help him?
ROVE: Well, I think it’s going to help him because it — people inside the Republican Party who support him say he’s being a victim. And in a way he is. But he’s also responsible for setting a tone. He claims that he can be presidential if he wants to be. It is time for him now to be presidential and to — and to — and to recede from this moment. Let the Secret Service and local law enforcement move these people out, but treat everyone in that hall with respect and set a tone that is worthy of our great country.
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