Ted Cruz said Friday that Donald Trump was right to cancel his Chicago rally out of public safety concerns but that the front-runner "bears responsibility for creating an environment when the candidate urges supporters to engage in physical violence to punch people in the face."
"The predictable consequence of that is it escalates," he told reporters outside a hotel in Rolling Meadows, Ill., in suburban Chicago. "Today is unlikely to be the last such instance."
Trump scrapped a rally at the University of Illinois-Chicago out of security concerns, which spawned sometimes violent skirmishes between supporters and protesters and requiring large numbers of local police to clear out the building.
The Republican front-runner said that he cancelled the meeting because
"I don't want to see people hurt."
Reflecting on the incident, Cruz told reporters that "this is a sad day.
"Political discourse should occur in this country without a threat of violence, without anger and rage and hatred directed at each other.
"We need to learn to have disagreements without being disagreeable, to have disagreements while respecting human beings on the other side," he said.
The Texas senator said that "protesters who took violence into their own hands" shared some responsibility for the incident but that "in any campaign, any candidate is responsible for the cult of the campaign.
"And when you have a campaign that disrespects the voters, when you have a campaign that affirmatively encourages violence, when you have a campaign what is facing allegations of physical violence against members of the press, you create an environment that only encourages this sort of nasty discord."
Cruz mentioned to reporters that 30 protesters were arrested at a Trump rally in St. Louis earlier on Friday.
"That's not how our politics should occur," he said.
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