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Angus King: There's a Fine Line Not Being Politically Correct

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By    |   Thursday, 09 Jun 2016 12:58 PM

Negative campaigns often succeed, but there is a fine line between not being politically correct and throwing out words that can have damaging consequences, Sen. Angus King said Thursday while discussing the increasing war of words in the 2016 presidential campaign, particularly when it comes to presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.

"From having been through a number of campaigns, the science of campaigns and the consultants all tell you to go negative," the Maine Independent lawmaker told CNN's Chris Cuomo on the "New Day" program. "Unfortunately, it works. That's the world we live in."

But such talk is "unfortunate, because it has a tendency to unleash some ugly stuff that we don't want," and as "you go up the leadership ladder, you have the right to say what you want, but a responsibility to take cognizant of the effects of what you say. That's what is worrying about this campaign, that is unleashing particularly on Mr. Trump's side."

King agreed with Cuomo's assessment that Trump's supporters like what he says, as "it is real, it is his truth," and said the sentiment is "absolutely valid, but there is a line, and that line is hard to define. I mean, that's what the First Amendment is about."

The Constitution allows freedom of speech, he continued, "Except the courts have long said you don't have the right to shout fire in a crowded theater that could lead to deaths. Leaders, the words that leaders use have consequences, and colorful language, vigorous debate, that's fantastic ... it is not about political correctness, but it is about understanding the consequences of your language."

Trump's comments on U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel, King continued, "seemed to trigger a response, even from people within his own party," but still, "If you look back to the quotes from Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and Rand Paul and Lindsey Graham back during the primaries, they're rougher on Trump than anything Hillary Clinton has said. I mean, they were very direct in their statements about his lack of qualifications to be president."

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Negative campaigns often succeed, but there is a fine line between not being politically correct and throwing out words that can have damaging consequences, Sen. Angus King said Thursday while discussing the increasing war of words in the 2016 presidential campaign, particularly ...
angus king, fine line, politically correct
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Thursday, 09 Jun 2016 12:58 PM
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