Illinois governor blasts Trump over ‘vermin’ rhetoric

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Sunday expressed deep concern about rhetoric from former President Donald Trump that he said echoed language from Nazi Germany.

Speaking on MSNBC’s “Inside with Jen Psaki,” the Illinois Democrat said, “I don’t know where it’s going with Donald Trump. What I can tell you is that the things that he talks about are frightening to those of us who know the history of Europe in the 1930s and 40s.”

“And,” Pritzker added, “I’m deeply concerned about his predilection for revenge and what that will mean for you know, groups of people that didn’t support him in the 2024 election if, in fact, he gets elected.”

Pritzker was referring to a Trump speech a week ago in Claremont, N.H., where he said: “We pledge to you that we will root out the communists, Marxists, fascists and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country that lie and steal and cheat on elections.”

The former president has used similar language on other occasions. The “vermin” rhetoric in particular has come under criticism from those like Pritzker who say that the language dehumanizes opponents in the way that Adolf Hitler and others did in gaining power in 1930s Germany.

Saying “I’m deeply concerned about the rise of hate in the United States and especially, of course, here in Illinois,” Pritzker also expressed general fears about hate speech and hateful behavior in the United States amid the Israel-Hamas war, referring to the recent slaying of a 6-year-old Muslim boy in his state.

“Wadea Al-Fayoume, the 6-year-old Palestinian American boy, is a completely innocent young child who doesn’t know anything about conflicts happening thousands of miles away, who’s just living his life, and he’s attacked by an extremist here in the United States. It’s just something that none of us should even fathom,” Pritzker said of the fatal stabbing of the youngster in his home on Oct. 14 in Plainfield Township, Ill.

“And yet, it happened and it happened in the wake of this war that’s happening overseas, and this young boy, killed, murdered, because someone had been radicalized by right wing radio and right wing television; that’s something we all need to pay attention to,” Pritzker said.


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