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Published On: Tue, Sep 4th, 2018

Illinois: Democrat candidate Sean Casten likens Trump to Bin Laden, a ‘demagogue’

A Democratic candidate for Congress in Illinois is making the headlines for comparing President Trump to al-Qaeda founder and terrorist Osama bin Laden.

Sean Casten, the Democratic nominee in the state’s 6th Congressional District against Rep. Peter Roskam (R), is heard in a recording that was posted online Thursday saying: “Trump and Osama bin Laden have a tremendous amount in common because they both figured out how to use the bully pulpit to activate marginalized young men.”

“Every demagogue has done this, right? Find a group of angry people and give them something to be angry at,” Casten says in the recording from an event in February that was posted on the Washington Free Beacon’s website.

In a statement, Casten’s campaign acknowledged that his words were “poorly chosen” and said he regrets them.

photo/ donkeyhotey

Travis Sterling, executive director of the Illinois Republican Party, called the remark “disrespectful, repugnant and disqualifying.”

“I think it is harmful rhetoric,” Sterling said. “To compare the president to the mastermind of 9/11 and the leader of al-Qaida, it just shows how out of touch this candidate really is. This is something coming from someone who is just not prepared to hold office. It’s dangerous.”

Casten’s statement went on to criticize Trump for having “gone out of his way to divide Americans for his own personal gain rather than bringing us together” and to say that Roskam has failed to be a check on Trump.

“In this era of deep partisanship this type of harmful rhetoric shows he is out of touch with the communities of Sixth Congressional District,” Sterling said in a statement.

Roskam’s campaign also responded, saying: “Our communities need a solutions-oriented Representative who can bring people together to get things done. This kind of hateful, vicious language is exactly the wrong approach.”

“Our communities need a solutions-oriented Representative who can bring people together to get things done,” Roskam spokeswoman Veronica Vera said Thursday. “This kind of hateful, vicious language is exactly the wrong approach.”

About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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