In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper Friday, Hillary Clinton said she was against all violence on either side of the aisle. However, she then blamed the rioting in San Jose, in which anti-Trump mobs attacked and beat up multiple Trump supporters, on Trump. CNN reports:
“I condemn all violence in our political arena. I condemned it when Donald Trump was inciting it and congratulating people who were engaging in it,” Clinton said after a campaign event in Culver City, California.
But Clinton said Trump has “set a very bad example.”
“He created an environment in which it seemed to be acceptable for someone running for president to be inciting violence, to be encouraging his supporters, now we’re seeing people who are against him responding in kind,” Clinton said. “It should all stop. It is not acceptable.”
Asked by Tapper if the protesters in San Jose might actually be helping Trump by making his opposition look bad, Clinton once again gave the same two-part answer. “I don’t think any of this helps anybody,” Clinton replied.
“I don’t think his protests that were led by his supporters, beating up people who were peacefully protesting against Trump, helped Trump. And I don’t think people who are protesting and using physical violence against people supporting Trump are helping anybody. So I want it to just end, Jake. I don’t want to parse it, I don’t want to talk about the political implications. I want it to end.”
But moments after saying she didn’t want to discuss “political implications” Clinton added, “And Trump has lowered the bar. And now is it a surprise that people who don’t like him are stepping over that low bar? I don’t think it is.” In other words, Trump is to blame.
Besides being self-serving this explanation is also not true. Are the people angry with Trump really taking their cues from him? Did they see the violence against protesters back in March and decide ‘Hey, months from now I’m going to beat up some strangers because I see it’s okay.’ I don’t think that is what is going on here.
Some Trump’s supporters got carried away at his rallies and took it out on protesters. Now some of Sanders’ (or Clinton’s) supporters are getting carried away and taking it out on people at Trump’s events. Trump didn’t do enough to discourage that negative energy early on, in fact he openly encouraged it on a few occasions. But the left has plenty of negative energy too. Hillary may not be encouraging the violence, but blaming it all on Trump gives the left a pass they don’t deserve for their own ugly behavior.