Another week, another pair of disturbing and violent outbursts at a Donald Trump rally that Trump refuses to condemn—let alone take responsibility for. At a rally last night in Tucson, Arizona, another Trump supporter viciously lashed out and punched a protester as he was leaving the arena. You can see two videos of the incident below—the protester is the one wearing an American flag shirt carrying a sign that read "Trump is Bad for America."
VIOLENCE at another Donald Trump rally, this time in Tucson, AZ. Man hits and kicks protester: pic.twitter.com/7FWuSeE0Jt
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorpNBC) March 19, 2016
Went to the Trump rally just to see how crazy it would be........this is insane pic.twitter.com/QFwSwmNoI0
— Alex Satterly (@alex_satterly) March 19, 2016
The attacker, 32-year-old Tony Pettway, was arrested at the scene and charged with assault. Trump did the morning news show rounds today, and pulled his usual double-speak, paying lip service to non-violence (“we don’t condone violence”) while also strongly implying that the protesters had it coming and deserved it.
Let's see how many news cycles we can burn talking about people shoving each other at rallies.
— daveweigel (@daveweigel) March 20, 2016
"These are professional agitators and I think that somebody should say that when a road is blocked going into the event so that people have to wait sometimes hours to get in, I think that’s very fair and there should be blame there, too," Trump told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. “At what point do people blame the protesters?” he added, neglecting to point out that he has blamed protesters almost every time.
This wasn't the only incident at the rally: Trump's controversial campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who has been accused of grabbing Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields by the arm at another even last week, was caught on video grabbing a protester by the collar. You can see video of that below.
Here is Donald Trump's campaign manager in the Tucson crowd grabbing the collar of a protester. pic.twitter.com/JZ9RntWlHY
— Jacqueline Alemany (@JaxAlemany) March 19, 2016
First, Trump's camp closed ranks and told CBS that Lewandowski hadn't touched anyone, despite the clear video evidence. Spokesperson Hope Hicks said in a statement:
"Corey Lewandowski was speaking with a protester at today’s rally in Tucson, Arizona when the individual he was speaking with was pulled from behind by the man to Lewandowski’s left. The video clearly shows the protester reacting to the man who pulled him, not to Mr. Lewandowski. Mr. Trump does not condone violence at his rallies, which are private events paid for by the campaign."
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) March 20, 2016
Then, Trump defended Lewandowski to Stephanopoulos, praising his, uh, spirit: "They had signs up in that area that were horrendous ... I will give him credit, spirited—now he didn’t touch him ... I give him credit for having spirit. He wanted to take down those horrible, profanity-laced signs."
Why is it that the horrendous protesters, who scream, curse punch, shut down roads/doors during my RALLIES, are never blamed by media? SAD!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 20, 2016
The Trump security guy blamed for manhandling Tucson protester looks like guy accused of punching protester in Sept. pic.twitter.com/5isHv7OFiq
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) March 20, 2016
In case you missed it, the Times compiled a video of Trump encouraging violence at rallies:
Sic. In so many ways. pic.twitter.com/FxF9K7rBqO
— JeffSharlet (@JeffSharlet) March 20, 2016
Also, if you're wondering how much you should be freaking out about a Trump presidency, the Economist Intelligence Unit says you should be about as worried about it as jihadi terrorists destabilizing the global economy. But hey, they do think you should be more worried about China, which seems about right.