Donald Trump set off a fierce new controversy Tuesday with remarks about the right to bear arms that were interpreted by many as a threat of violence against Hillary Clinton.
“Hillary wants to abolish — essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know,” Trump said.
He added: “But I tell you what, that will be a horrible day, if Hillary gets to put her judges in, right now we’re tied.”
Trump’s ambiguous comments alarmed some political observers as to whether he was threatening her life or calling for increased political activity.
Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, issued a two-sentence statement in response to Trump.
“This is simple — what Trump is saying is dangerous. A person seeking to the be president of the United States should not suggest violence in any way,” he said.
"A person seeking to be the President of the United States should not suggest violence in any way." pic.twitter.com/Uu55CBCqdK
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 9, 2016
Trump defended his comments Tuesday, insisting that he was telling his supporters to use the power of their vote to stop Clinton from appointing justices who could restrict their Second Amendment rights.
“This is a political movement. This is a strong political movement, the Second Amendment,” Trump said to Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “And there can be no other interpretation. Even reporters have told me. I mean, give me a break.”
But Trump’s controversial remarks earlier Tuesday pointed to a scenario under which Clinton would be appointing Supreme Court judges — meaning Election Day would be long gone.
New York Daily News Calls For Donald Trump To End Campaign
The front page of Wednesday’s New York Daily News called for Donald Trump to end his presidential campaign — writing, “This isn’t a joke any more.”
In an editorial posted online Tuesday night, the newspaper called for Trump to end his campaign following comments the candidate made on Tuesday that some saw as a threat of violence toward his rival Hillary Clinton.
“Donald Trump must end his campaign for the White House in a reckoning with his own madness, while praying that nothing comes of his musing about an assassination of Hillary Clinton,” the paper wrote.
Trump said at a campaign stop in North Carolina on Tuesday that “Hillary wants to abolish — essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”
The comment alarmed some, but was ultimately a breaking point for the Daily News.
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) August 10, 2016
“Trump can offer no apology sufficient to make up for insidiously making light of murder,” the newspaper wrote. “Nor can he explain away or justify planting a notion that could spur a demented follower to kill a political rival, a President or Supreme Court justices.”
The Daily News added that if Trump refuses to end his campaign, then those in the Republican Party must abandon him.
“In the event that Trump fails to abandon his candidacy — as he seems determined to — the Republican Party, including vice presidential nominee Mike Pence, must instead abandon Trump for toying with political bloodshed,” the paper suggested.
Since announcing his candidacy last summer, the Daily News has been a vocal opponent of Trump and his campaign for president. The paper has published many front pages against the candidate.
However, by calling for an end to his campaign the paper has arguably taken its biggest position yet against Trump.
“Since the Democratic convention, Trump’s offensiveness, ignorance and instability have repulsed Americans, including Republicans, in increasing numbers,” the paper wrote. “With notable exceptions, Republican officials have stayed uneasily with Trump while disowning his words and actions. Now, he has left them no choice but to dump Trump.”
It’s not alone in its call for the Republican Party to ditch Trump. MSNBC host Joe Scarborough wrote in The Washington Post that “Paul Ryan and every Republican leader should revoke their endorsement of Donald Trump.”
“At this point, what else could Trump do that would be worse than implying the positive impact of a political assassination?” Scarborough said in an opinion article posted online late Tuesday.