US President Barack Obama has condemned the violence at a rally by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in San Jose, California.
During a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Florida on Friday, Obama said that there’s no room for politics that ignores opposing opinions.
“It is very important for us to remind ourselves of who we are and what is best about American democracy and not slip into some of the bad habits that currently manifest themselves in the other party,” Obama said.
“We saw in San Jose these protesters starting to pelt stuff [at] Trump supporters. That’s not what our democracy is about,” he added.
“That’s not what you do,” Obama said. “There’s no room for violence. There’s no place for shouting. There’s no room for a politics that fails to at least listen to the other side, even if you vehemently disagree. Because I believe if you’ve got the better argument, then you don’t need to do that. Just go out there and organize and persuade.”
On Thursday, anti-Trump protests in San Jose turned violent against his supporters, with demonstrators throwing punches and harassing his fans.
Hundreds of demonstrators insulted Trump supporters as they tried to leave the event. One protester was seen burning an American flag. One supporter was hit with an egg.
Trump, the presumptive US Republican presidential nominee, denounced the protesters as “thugs.”
“Rally last night in San Jose was great. Tremendous love and enthusiasm in the hall. Big crowd. Outside, small group of thugs burned Am flag!” Trump said Friday on Twitter.
In another posting, he said: “Great evening in San Jose other than the thugs. My supporters are far tougher if they want to be, but fortunately they are not hostile.”
Violent clashes between Trump supporters and protesters have taken place outside a number of the candidate’s campaign rallies in recent months.
The outspoken candidate has angered many in the US with his rhetoric against immigrants, Latinos, women, Muslims and others.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton launched stinging criticism of Trump on Friday, even suggesting her opponent wants to be America’s “dictator.”
Clinton’s criticism of Trump was among her strongest in a growing escalation of war of words between the two candidates ahead of California’s June 7 primary election.
Although Clinton leads Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in the delegate count, Sanders argues that he still has a path to the Democratic presidential nomination.