Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke of Texas, who is running to unseat Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in next week’s midterm election, blasted President Donald Trump in a televised interview on Tuesday night for inviting the nation “to hate openly, unapologetically” and inciting violence.
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“I think he’s trying to play upon the worst impulses of this country instead of speaking to our ambitions, our hopes, our dreams, those things that we can achieve if we all come together.”
—Congressman Beto O’Rourke
His comments during a town hall at the University of Houston broadcast on MSNBC‘s “Hardball with Chris Matthews” followed a gunman killing 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh last weekend and a man who owns a van plastered in Trump stickers allegedly sending explosive devices to billionaire financier George Soros, high-profile Democrats including former President Barack Obama and the president’s 2016 challenger Hillary Clinton, and the Time Warner Center in New York City, the location of CNN‘s headquarters.
“The invitation to hate openly, unapologetically; to call Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals; to call asylum-seekers animals, an infestation; to describe white nationalists, Klansmen, neo-Nazis as ‘very fine people’; that has certainly contributed to the environment that we see in this country at this moment,” said O’Rourke. “I think he’s trying to play upon the worst impulses of this country instead of speaking to our ambitions, our hopes, our dreams, those things that we can achieve if we all come together.”
While urging voters to challenge Trump’s rhetoric and policies by turning out for “this defining midterm election,” the congressman also responded to an audience member’s question with criticism of Trump’s frequent attacks on the media, which the president often calls “fake news.”
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