Presidential candidates from both parties have given clear views on who they support in the ongoing University of Missouri protests, with some Republicans showing their disapproval of administrators for resigning (video below) and some Democrats speaking out in support of students.
"I think it's just disgusting. I think the two people who resigned are weak, ineffective people," Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Fox News on Nov. 12. "When they resigned, they set something in motion that's going to be a disaster for the next long period of time."
On Nov. 9, University System President Tim Wolfe resigned, followed hours later by Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, CNN reported.
The protests at the University of Missouri over years of alleged racism on campus have since spread to other campuses, including Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson’s alma mater, Yale University.
Carson said Nov. 12 on Fox News that the resignations at the University of Missouri came out of “fear.”
”It's OK to disagree with people, but it's not OK to try and destroy them," Carson said. "People are so frightened of the politically correct police that they are willing to do things that are irrational in order to appease them. I believe it's going to be necessary for those people who truly believe in our system, who believe in our Constitution, who believe in the principles and values that made America great, to be willing to stand up.”
Democrats had a different reaction to the protests, siding with students.
“I’m listening to the #BlackOnCampus conversation. It’s time to address structural racism on college campuses,” Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont tweeted Nov. 11.
Fellow Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton retweeted what her staffer Marlon Marshall wrote: “Racism has no place anywhere, let alone an institution of learning. Standing with the students at Mizzou in my home state calling for change.”
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who is also seeking the GOP presidential nomination, responded to the protests by saying “there’s a certain amount of anger out there,” with a call for acceptance of free speech.
"I think freedom of speech is very, very important. Does freedom of speech mean there will be boorish people who say things you don't want to associate with? Yes," Paul said, according to CNN. "But really in a free society, there's got to be a place for people to make their argument."