Reid Blames Republican Rhetoric For Trump's 'Rise'

| by Ray Brown
Harry Reid Speaks At The Center For American Progress.Harry Reid Speaks At The Center For American Progress.

Senate Minority Leader Democratic Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada blames the Republican Party for the "rise" of Donald Trump and said that although the GOP establishment is fighting hard against the boisterous billionaire, they're really no different.

“The Republican establishment acts bewildered, but they shouldn't,” Reid said, according to CNN. “As much as they may try to distance themselves from Trump now, Republican leaders are responsible for his rise.”

Reid continued: "When Trump calls immigrants rapists and murderers, he's just doing what he's learned from generations of conservatives. The Republican Party has become the party of Trump."

Although Republican leaders like Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin have not been warm to Trump being the likely nominee, they haven’t condemned him, either.

When Trump didn’t immediately disavow the endorsement of Ku Klux Klan former leader David Duke during an interview with CNN, many critics contended that Trump was approving of racism and hate speech and he was roundly criticized.

But McConnell’s words were tepid and avoided direct criticism of Trump.

“Let me make it clear: Senate Republicans condemn David Duke, the KKK and racism. That is not the view of Republicans that have been elected to the United States Senate,” McConnell said, according to Politico. "Beyond what I just said, I'm going to continue to avoid weighing in on the presidential contest at this point."

And Ryan only said, “This party does not prey on people’s prejudices.”

But Reid said that’s not enough when it comes to Trump.

"There is no gray area here. It is time for Sen. McConnell and Speaker Ryan to find the backbone to say: 'Enough,'" Reid said.

Although Trump clearly has more voter support than any other Republican candidate left in the race, he’s facing even greater opposition from his own party, in addition to the Democrats.

With Gov. John Kasich of Ohio unable to win any state besides his own, establishment figures seem to reluctantly coalescing around Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, despite his reputation as being highly disliked in Washington, D.C.

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has endorsed Cruz, although he has said numerous negative things about him. In a recent interview with CNN, Graham attacked Cruz’s foreign policy stance as "just as wrong as Obama, if not worse,” adding that “In Ted Cruz’s world, dictators do very well.”

Sources: CNN (2), Politico / Photo credit: Center for American Progress/Flickr

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