Watch Trump Defend Violence Against Protesters At Campaign Events During CNN's Republican Presidential Debate
Trump: "We Have Some Protesters Who Are Bad Dudes"
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From the March 10 edition of CNN's CNN Republican Debate:
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JAKE TAPPER (MODERATOR): Mr. Trump, I want to start with you in this block. Earlier today a man was arrested and charged with assault, after sucker punching a protester in the face at your rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina. This is hardly the first incidence of violence breaking out at one of your rallies. Today Hillary Clinton, your potential general election opponent clearly indicated see sees this as an issue for the campaign. She said "This kind of behavior is repugnant, we set the tone for our campaigns, we should encourage respect, not violence." Do you believe that you've done anything to create a tone, where this kind of violence would be encouraged?
DONALD TRUMP: I hope not. I truly hope not. I will say this, we have 25, 30,000 people, you've seen it yourself. People come with tremendous passion and love for the country, and when they see protests -- in some cases,you know, you're mentioning one case, I haven't seen, I heard about it, which I don't like. But, when they see what's going on in this country, they have anger that's unbelievable. They have anger, they love this country. They don't like seeing bad trade deals, they don't like seeing higher taxes, they don't like seeing a loss of their jobs, where our jobs have just been devastated. And I know -- I mean, I see it. There is some anger. There's also great love for the country. It's a beautiful thing in many respects. But I certainly do not condone that at all, Jake.
TAPPER: Some of your critics point to quotes you've made at these rallies including February 23rd, "I'd like to punch him in the face," referring to a protester. February 27th, "In the good ol' days, they'd have ripped him out of seat so fast." February 1st, "Knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously, OK, just knock the hell. I promise you I will pay for the legal fees, I promise, I promise."
TRUMP: We have some protesters who are bad dudes, they have done bad things. They are swinging, they are really dangerous, and they get in there and they start hitting people. And we had a couple big, strong ,powerful guys doing damage to people, not only the loudness, the loudness I don't mind, but doing serious damage. And if they're going to be taken out, to be honest, we have to run something. And it's not me. It's usually the municipal government, the police because I don't have guards all over these stadiums. I mean, we fill up stadiums. It's usually the police and, by the way, speaking of the police, we should pay our respects to the police because they are taking tremendous abuse in this country, and they do a phenomenal job. So we should pay -- we should truly give our police, they're incredible people, we should give them a great deal more respect than they receive.