Republicans turn up the heat on Trump

November 23, 2015

Supporters of Ohio Governor John Kasich kept up attacks on Donald Trump on Monday, telling reporters the real estate mogul makes shocking comments for “entertainment value” that could hurt the Republican Party.

“There’s a long line of record here of this man making statements for headlines, for entertainment value, that quite frankly are divisive,” said U.S. Representative Pat Tiberi of Ohio.

Tiberi pointed to Trump’s recent claim that he saw American Muslims cheering in New Jersey after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Police have said that did not happen.

Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Complex in Birmingham, Alabama November 21,2015. REUTERS/Marvin Gentry

“It’s that type of rhetoric that is destructive,” Tiberi said. “It should be recognized for what it is.”

Trump drew criticism over the weekend after a black protestor was pushed and kicked by other attendees at a rally in Alabama. Trump appeared unconcerned by the treatment,  telling Fox News on Sunday the man was obnoxious. “Maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing,” Trump said.

A Super PAC supporting the Ohio governor organized an advertising campaign to go after Trump in the key early primary state of New Hampshire, with backing from about a dozen major Republican donors.

Kasich’s campaign released a video last week arguing the real estate mogul was too easy on Russia. The Kasich campaign also on Monday tweeted out a video showing Trump appearing to waffle on whether he supported creating a federal government database of all American Muslims. “@realDonaldTrump does…does not…and does want a federal government religious database,” Kasich tweeted.

Kasich has struggled to gain traction in the Republican race, ranking well below Trump in the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll, with just 3 percent of support compared to the billionaire’s 39 percent.

Kasich hopes to win voters who are concerned about the U.S. economy by touting his job-creation record in Ohio. Trump has dismissed the governor’s claimed accomplishments, saying Kasich got lucky with a natural gas fracking boom in his state.

 

No comments so far

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/