Cruz: Responsibility in campaigns 'starts at the top'
© Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Ted CruzTed CruzBrietbart CEO reveals that Trump donors are part owners At CPAC, Trump lashes out at media Conquering Trump returns to conservative summit MORE said on Sunday that the protesters at rival Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFrench president rips Trump’s Paris comments By any other name: Revised Trump border rules will still be a Muslim ban Trump's first dinner out in DC: His own hotel MORE's rallies are behaving "abusively and wrong," but added that it doesn't help when the GOP front-runner encourages violence.

"At the end of the day in any campaign, responsibility starts at the top," the Texas senator said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday.

ADVERTISEMENT
"And it is not beneficial when you have a presidential candidate like Donald Trump telling his supporters, 'Punch that guy in the face.' We ought to have a president who brings us together, who doesn't seek to divide us."

Cruz said on Sunday that the protesters at Trump's rallies don't have a right to "threaten violence."

He added that it's important a candidate show respect for the voters. He said he's been "troubled" by the rallies Trump holds, noting the pledge Trump asks people to take at some of his rallies to support him.

Cruz said protests at his events are "very different."

"When I have protesters at my events, I endeavor to engage them with civility and respect. More than once, I've actually had a conversation with the protesters on substance," he said.

Protesters who are just "shouting and disrupting," he said, will be removed, but Cruz said he is open to having discussions with protesters, touting himself as a candidate who "is showing the voters respect."