Sunday night, during an interview with CBS host John Dickerson, Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz made an extraordinary accusation against fellow candidate Donald Trump, saying he “may do everything he can to encourage riots” in Cleveland, Ohio. But it’s not the first time he’s made that accusation. In mid-March, he did the same thing on the Fox News Channel, saying: “Well, listen, no one should be surprised that Donald Trump is trying to stir up riots. I wish we had a presidential candidate that bringing us together instead of encouraging such things.”
Both accusations were made in the context of speculation about what might happen at the July GOP Convention in Cleveland, Ohio if the candidate with the most delegates is contested and unseated. Many have suggested that such a contested convention would cause explosive wrath among the party faithful. Newt Gingrich, for example. But for a candidate to accuse another of “encouraging riots,” which is quite literally a serious federal crime on its face, is quite shocking. Even more shocking is to do so, multiple times, with no evidence whatsoever. Not only is this irresponsible, under non-campaign circumstances it might result in libel charges. Unfortunately, with the question of unrest becoming only more real as the convention approaches, it seems unlikely that this will be the last time such accusations are made.
Cross-Posted at Nox & Friends.