Hillary: Republican Extremism to Blame for the Rise of Trump

Monday in Madison, WI, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton said Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was a result of Republicans’ “extremist tactics.”

Partial transcript as follows:

CLINTON: As scary as it might be, ask yourselves, what kind of justice would a President Trump appoint? Or for that matter, what kind of attorney general? What kind of lower court judges? As you know, he believes Muslims should be banned from entering this country because of their faith. What would that mean for a nation founded on religious freedom? He wants to round up 11 million immigrants and kick them out. What would that mean for a nation built by immigrants? He says wages for working people are too high and we shouldn’t raise the minimum wage. What would that mean for working people? And a court that’s already tilting in favor of powerful corporations?

Let’s be clear about what’s really going on here. The current fight over Judge Garland is just the latest in a long line of actions aimed at disrupting our government and undermining our president. And the result is an America that’s more divided, more dysfunctional, and less secure. Consider how Republicans led by Ted Cruz shut down the entire federal government in 2013, rather than fund the Affordable Care Act. Or how they almost shut down the government again last fall over trying to defund Planned Parenthood. Remember what Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate said back in 2010. That the single most important priority for Republicans was making Barack Obama a one-term president. Now, some people thought that was hyperbole, but I always remember Maya Angelou ‘s advice. When someone shows you who they are, believe them. Right? And today Republican leaders have been showing us who they are—in fact, for a long time.

Blocking Judge Garland is just the latest evidence and we should start believing them. If you want to know where that kind of obstruction and recklessness leads, look at the Republican race for the presidency. Now every day, another Republican bemoans the rise of Donald Trump, saying a Trump nomination will set their party back decades. I agree. It will set the Republican party back if Donald Trump is their standard-bearer. But Donald Trump didn’t come out of nowhere. What the Republicans have sown with their extremist tactics, they are now reaping with Donald Trump’s candidacy. It wasn’t long after Senator McConnell said his number one goal was to prevent the president’s re-election that Donald Trump started his racist campaign to discredit the president’s citizenship. Remember? The birther movement.

And Ted Cruz embarked on his strategy of holding the government hostage to get his way. These things are connected. When you have leaders willing to bring the whole of government to a halt to make headlines, you may just give rise to candidates who promise to do even more radical and dangerous things. Because once you make the extreme normal, you open the door to even worse. And when you have a party dead-set on demonizing the president, you may just end up with a candidate who says the president never legally was the president at all. Enough is enough.

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN