Right-Wing Media Claim Anti-Trump Protests Help Trump’s Electoral Chances

Fox News hosts and guests spun protests against GOP front-runner Donald Trump at recent campaign events in California as beneficial to Trump as a candidate. 

Protesters Speak Out Against Trump’s Hateful Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric At California Republican Convention

Reuters: “Anti-Trump Protests Break Out For Second Day In California.” On April 29, Reuters reported protest demonstrations outside of a hotel in Burlingame, California, where Trump was scheduled to speak, forced the Republican front-runner to take an alternate entrance into the venue to avoid protesters.

Protests erupted in California for the second day in a row on Friday against U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump, who is moving closer to winning the Republican nomination after a string of victories this week.

The billionaire businessman was forced to halt his motorcade and go through a back entrance to a hotel to give a speech to the California Republican convention and avoid several hundred loud protesters gathered outside.


Protests have become common outside rallies for Trump who has earned ardent critics, as well as support from Republican voters, for his rhetoric against illegal immigration. His campaign abandoned a rally in Chicago last month after clashes between his supporters and protesters.

He has accused Mexico of sending drug dealers and rapists across the U.S. border and has promised to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it. [Reuters, 4/29/16]

Right-Wing Figures Spin Protests As A Positive Force That Will “Assist” Trump In Securing Nomination

Bill O'Reilly: “Anti-Trump Shenanigans Actually Help The Candidate.” On the April 29 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly called anti-Trump protesters “pinheads wrecking cop cars” that “are so stupid they can't understand” that their demonstrations actually help Trump:

BILL O'REILLY (HOST): Now, the continuing anti-Trump shenanigans actually help the candidate. When Americans see people destroying police cars and generally behaving in untoward way, they don't like those people. Their actions are undemocratic and actually provide sympathy for the person they dislike -- in this case, Donald Trump. Many of these protesters are so stupid they can't understand that. But it's the truth. Once a movement is considered harmful by the folks, once that is established, anyone opposed to that movement gets a positive shine. Best example, Richard Nixon versus George McGovern in 1972. The violent demonstrations against Nixon actually propelled him to a landslide victory, even though the man himself was not generally liked. So, you pinheads wrecking cop cars and spraying your political opponents with chemicals, might want to consider that. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 4/29/16]

Eric Bolling: Protesters Are “Animals” And Help Trump. On The April 29 edition of Fox News’ The Five, co-host Eric Bolling  said protesters who become violent ultimately benefit Trump:

ERIC BOLLING (CO-HOST): Well the crowds were small compared to the bloody protest that took place last night. Let's just take a minute to look and listen to the anti-Trump protesters as they clashed with police in riot gear again last night.


You know, I absolutely believe protesters who turn violent actually help Trump, not hurt him. After all, who can honestly say I'm on the side of these animals? [Fox News, The Five, 4/29/16]

Fox Guest Larry Sabato: Image Of Protesters “Helps Donald Trump In The Nominating Process.” On the April 29 edition of Fox News’ Your World with Neil Cavuto, frequent Fox guest Larry Sabato told host Neil Cavuto that the protests will “assist” Trump, because most Republicans are “not going to identify with the protestors”:

NEIL CAVUTO (HOST): And I’m wondering if the appearance here, or at least to those who want to voice protest to associate with Donald Trump, protest and violence, fairly or not, is that an image that sticks?

LARRY SABATO: Neil I think this particular image helps Donald Trump in the nominating process. We're still in the nominating phase and this will assist him because most Republicans are not going to be -- are not going to identify with the protesters. [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 4/29/16]

Herman Cain: “Right-Thinking Republicans And Conservatives Will Be Encouraged By This.” On the April 29 edition of Fox News’ Your World with Neil Cavuto, Herman Cain agreed with Larry Sabato’s suggestion that protests at Trump rallies will ultimately “enhance the appeal of Donald Trump”:

NEIL CAVUTO (HOST): You're watching all of this, Herman, and of course people are going to say, boy, this guy -- just associate him with trouble, controversy, protests. I would imagine, to Larry's initial point it could help him because what is it to this guy that incites such a response? And, listen, I'm not trying to criticize my colleagues on other networks and all, but watching some of the coverage, one reporter was saying it's his anti-immigration stance when in fact it’s his anti-illegal immigration stance. I know I make small point, but to make the point, that they generalize to the point of associating him, that is Donald Trump, with everything bad. That might not be the case.

HERMAN CAIN: Those protesters have drank the fool-aid. That's why they're there talking about “stop hate.” This isn't about hate. And here's the other thing, Neil, Trump supporters will be emboldened with stuff like this, and right-thinking Republicans and conservatives will be encouraged by this. They're not going be scared off. That's the difference between this situation and a 1960. It's not going to diminish the appeal of Donald Trump, it's going to enhance the appeal of Donald Trump. [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 4/29/16]

Ed Rollins: “This Is Only Going To Help Trump.” On the April 29 edition of Fox News’ Your World with Neil Cavuto, former senior adviser to Ronald Reagan, Ed Rollins, predicted that tensions in protest lines is “only going to help Trump get that nomination easier in California”:

ED ROLLINS: He’s certainly not in danger, but he’s certainly not as scrutinized as he should be and I think the sadness of this whole thing is that it's going to continue and we're now in a very polarized election and obviously people, the Republican Party, have a right to hear their candidates and the protesters can protest, but I think this is only going to help Trump, And particularly young people who are waving the Mexican flag -- and no offense to Mexico, I have great respect for it -- but this is just going to enhance the whole border battle back-and-forth and my sense is Trump, being the strong law-and-order type, he'll get enhanced by this. This is very similar to when Ronald Reagan first started the student protests at Berkeley and beyond was sort of the -- standing tough helped to get him elected and certainly helped Nixon get elected in '68, so my sense is this is only going to help Trump get that nomination easier in California. [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 4/29/16]

Scott Brown: Protests Are “Actually Emboldening The Trump Supporters And Bring More People To Him.” On the April 29 edition of Fox News’ Your World with Neil Cavuto, Trump shill and former Sen. Scott Brown told host Neil Cavuto that protests at Trump rallies “would have been worse” if Trump had cancelled his speech:

NEIL CAVUTO (HOST): A number of Mexican  protesters who were there as well saying that Donald Trump is a bigot, he is anti-human being -- I saw one sign like that. On the phone right now, a big Trump backer, Scott Brown, the former senator. Scott, what do you make of what went down here and what was going on here? Donald Trump is preparing to leave San Francisco now. I don't know, maybe you do, where he’s going, but he could have easily cancelled this event and could have easily said, “You know what, this is looking dicey.” He didn't. What do you think?

SCOTT BROWN: Why should he, Neil? I mean, he’s not going to be intimidated, nor would I or would I expect anyone who runs on the Democratic side either. They have -- we have the right, he has the right I should I say, to get out there and bring his message to the people who are going to see him have the right to hear him and the people protesting certainly have that right too. But they don't have a right to break the law. They don't have the right to -- you know, obviously -- inflict bodily injury. And I think if he had cancelled it would have been worse, and I think what you're seeing now, by all of these protests, it's actually emboldening those Trump supporters and bringing more and more and more people to him because they recognize him. Anytime you see people running around with Mexican flags in California, it’s like, yeah, you know this is exactly what he is talking about. And it kind of hits home his point and, I think, brings more and more people who are on the fence closer to him. [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 4/29/16]