Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) sided mostly with Trump, who’s been unapologetic about his rhetoric and blamed protesters for wreaking havoc. The longest-serving GOP senator said he had his own run-in over the weekend with liberal protesters, who implored him to “do your job” and take up a Supreme Court nominee.
“It’s amazing to me in my life it’s always been Democrats who do that. It’s not Republicans,” Hatch said in an interview on Monday. “I hate to say it, I but do believe the media’s going to blame Republicans no matter what happens” at Trump rallies.
“I don’t see where anything [Trump] says is so inflammatory that it justifies doing what they did in Chicago. He’s funny in a lot of ways, he’s provocative and interesting. He’s all of those. So he’s certainly not calling on people to be rude and ignorant and invasive of the program that’s going on,” Hatch added. “I don’t think anybody on either side is really condoning that kind of thing.”
.. Ryan was the most forceful on Monday, clearly referring to Trump when he said that “the candidates need to take responsibility for the environment at their events. There is never an excuse for condoning violence, or even a culture that presupposes it.”
.. If Republicans have any hope of retaining Senate control with their large House majority while running alongside Trump, they’ll need to figure out how to harness the enthusiasm of his supporters without being dragged down by his incendiary statements.