GOP presidential candidate John Kasich was to have had an hour-long MSNBC town hall Friday night, but it was pre-empted by the chaotic scene after Donald Trump canceled his Chicago rally Friday night
, and he blames the violence and divisiveness on Trump himself.
"Tonight the seeds of division that Donald Trump has been sowing this whole campaign finally bore fruit, and it was ugly," the Ohio governor said in a statement Friday night. "Some let their opposition to his views slip beyond protest into violence, but we can never let that happen."
He went on to urge protesters to resist the temptation and "rise to a higher level."
"Now is the time for Americans to come together and stand firm for what we know is true: we are great because we are a peaceful people who live by the rule of law," said Kasich. "We are stronger together, we will reject those who try to divide us for personal gain and we will do it the right way — at the ballot box."
The event turned chaotic after thousands of people attending split apart into opposing camps, and about a half-hour after the rally was slated to begin, a campaign staffer took the stage and announced the rally would be postponed, and scuffles broke out between the two sides.
The other two candidates in the race, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, also said Friday night
that Trump's language has created an environment for such activities.
"I wouldn’t say Mr. Trump is responsible for the events of tonight," Rubio told The Washington Post
, "but he is most certainly, in other events, has in the past used some pretty rough language, saying in the good old days we used to beat these people up, or I’ll pay your legal bills if you rough them up. So I think he bears some responsibility for the general tone."
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