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An Illinois congressional hopeful is backtracking after he said President Trump had a “tremendous amount in common” with Usama bin Laden.
“I don’t mean to sound overly, I don’t know, hyperbolic on this,” Sean Casten, a Democrat, originally said in a recording obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. “Trump and Usama bin Laden have a tremendous amount in common because they have both figured out how to use the bully pulpit to activate marginalized young men.”
The article goes on to state the following:
“Every demagogue has done this, right – find a group of angry people and give them something to be angry at,” Casten continued.
Casten won the Democratic primary in March and will face incumbent Rep. Peter Roskam in November. Roskam, a Republican, has represented Illinois’ 6th congressional district since 2007.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that in a statement, Veronica Vera, spokeswoman for Roskam’s campaign, labled the comments “hateful, vicious language.”
“Sean Casten has called Republicans pedophiles, likened abortion to gallbladder surgery and called Republican Party donors ‘a bunch of morons,’” Vera said in the statement. “Our communities need a solutions-oriented Representative who can bring people together to get things done.”
WGN-TV further reports:
[Casten’s] campaign said the words were poorly chosen and that he regrets them. The campaign said the comments were made by Casten at an event where he was asked about addressing the gun violence epidemic in the country.
Read the full statement from Casten’s campaign:
“Sean’s words were poorly chosen, and he regrets them. Even prior to being elected, Donald Trump’s politics of disparagement and division have been straining the bonds that hold our diverse nation together. And Sean believes that Donald Trump has gone out of his way to divide Americans for his own personal gain rather than bringing us together. Not only has Peter Roskam failed to be a check on Donald Trump, both Peter Roskam and Donald Trump have failed to tackle the issue of gun violence which is what Sean was addressing.”
Yesterday, @SeanCasten claimed he "puts character first" and doesn't care what letter comes after someone's name. https://t.co/0zIyXU1grk But in a #SeanCastenDeletedTweet, he called every single elected #Republican a member of "the Pedophile Party." #TBT #CharacterFirst pic.twitter.com/piZceQOS8E
— Peter Roskam (@TeamRoskam) August 23, 2018
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