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Oversen: Cramer’s statement on Trump ‘appalling’

GRAND FORKS -- The chairwoman of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party criticized Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., Monday for his stance on recent violence at Donald Trump rallies.

GRAND FORKS -- The chairwoman of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party criticized Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., Monday for his stance on recent violence at Donald Trump rallies.

Kylie Oversen, who also is a state representative from Grand Forks, said Cramer’s “recent statement trying to shift the blame for violence at Donald Trump's rallies is appalling and nonsensical.”

Trump, the current frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, canceled a rally Friday in Chicago after fights broke out between protesters and the candidate’s supporters.

But while some, including presidential candidates from both parties, said Trump’s rhetoric helps encourage violence, Cramer said Sunday in a guest post on SayAnythingBlog.com that Trump was not to blame. He cited “violence committed by liberal Chicago thugs” in that post.

“Unless Donald Trump throws the punch or orders somebody who works for him to do it, it’s still just political rhetoric, uncivil as it is,” Cramer said Monday. “When you justify or can rationalize the violence as a response to political rhetoric, that is the appalling line that one shouldn’t cross and certainly a political party shouldn’t.”

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Cramer added that he was defending Trump’s right to speak and for his supporters to hear him but not his rhetoric.

In an interview, Oversen said that rhetoric is “much more dangerous than Trump just throwing out words.

“These acts of violence aren’t happening at any other rallies to this extent,” she said, adding that “the way he talks about minority communities in our country” is also a problem.

Cramer has not outright endorsed Trump for president, but reiterated Monday that he would support the Republican nominee, which he believes will be Trump. He has also said he doesn’t “share the panic of many in my party’s leadership” about Trump.

The clashes in Chicago followed other instances of violence at Trump rallies, including one in November in which Trump said, “Maybe he should have been roughed up,” in reference to a protester, according to the Washington Post.

Another man was charged with assault, battery and disorderly conduct after sucker-punching a protester during a Trump rally in North Carolina this month, and Trump said Sunday he may pay the assailant’s legal fees, according to the New York Times.

“Extremism of any form is unacceptable, and North Dakotans deserve representatives at all levels of government who stand up against hatred and denounce violence to bridge divides,” Oversen said in a statement. “Kevin Cramer should take a hard look in the mirror and pressure his preferred candidate to do the same."

Trump won a North Dakota Republican straw poll that was organized by Cramer, after which the second-term congressman said party leadership should “help Donald Trump be a successful candidate and then help him be a successful president.”

Related Topics: KEVIN CRAMER
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