Cruz: Trump campaign 'encourages violence'
© Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFBI investigating alleged assault on Fort Bliss soldier at Afghan refugee camp The Memo: Biden's immigration problems reach crescendo in Del Rio Matthew McConaughey on potential political run: 'I'm measuring it' MORE says Donald TrumpDonald TrumpCheney says a lot of GOP lawmakers have privately encouraged her fight against Trump Republicans criticizing Afghan refugees face risks DeVos says 'principles have been overtaken by personalities' in GOP MORE has created a toxic environment at rallies with a campaign that "affirmatively encourages violence."

Speaking to reporters in Chicago on Friday night, Cruz made it clear that he believed that "protesters who took violence into their own hands" were responsible for shutting down Trump's rally that night, according to the New York Times.

ADVERTISEMENT
“But in any campaign, responsibility starts at the top,” Cruz said. “And when you have a campaign that disrespects the voters, when you have a campaign that affirmatively encourages violence, when you have a campaign that is facing allegations of physical violence against members of the press, you create an environment that only encourages this sort of nasty discourse.

“When the candidate urges supporters to engage in physical violence, to punch people in the face, the predictable consequence of that is that it escalates. And today is unlikely to be the last such instance.”

But Cruz also joined Trump in attributing some of the blame to President Obama, who he said has "sought to divide us on racial lines, on ethnic lines, on religious lines, on class lines."