Minnesota party chairs clash over Charlottesville

Some Minnesota Republicans are condemning the weekend violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and some Democrats who are trying to tie the GOP to the display of racism and anti-Semitism there.

Minnesota Republican Party chair Jennifer Carnahan said the violence was horrific. She said the party does not condone any bigotry.

“I think it’s important that people stand up and speak out about it, speak out against it, and stay strong to what the values of our country are,” Carnahan said.

Carnahan added that opponents of President Trump are trying to politicize the tragedy.

Several left-leaning social justice groups announced plans to protest Monday outside the state Republican Party office in Minneapolis. They blame Trump and his supporters for a rise of hate crimes and violence.

Carnahan said the Minnesota groups have the right to peacefully protest. But she rejects their allegations as “irresponsible and reckless.”

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“Making blanket, sweeping statements that what happened in one city is a reflection and says that the Republican Party of Minnesota or the Republican Party in general is racist is completely wrong,” she said.

Carnahan also criticized Minnesota DFL party chair Ken Martin for making similar allegations against Republicans over the weekend. In a social media post, Martin blamed Trump, as well as right-wing "rhetoric, policies and actions," for a rise in hate crimes.

Martin isn’t backing down.

He said Monday that there's no doubt about the connection. He accused Carnahan of blindly supporting Trump.

“All of us have a responsibility to tone down the rhetoric, and Donald Trump’s rhetoric has been nothing but hate-filled since the moment he was nominated,” Martin said. “To suggest that somehow these things are not linked is just denying the facts.”