- The Washington Times - Friday, April 29, 2016

The White House Friday compared lawless anti-Donald Trump protesters to America’s original tea party patriots in Boston.

Asked if President Obama was concerned about protesters who took to the streets near a Trump rally in southern California Thursday night, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said there is “a long tradition of protests in the American political system.”

“In fact, this country was started by a bunch of protesters, some of whom decided that they were pretty unhappy about taxes and threw some barrels of tea into Boston harbor,” Mr. Earnest said.

He said Mr. Obama believes in voters making their voices heard at the ballot box and through public debate.

“And that debate is likely to be filled with some emotion,” he said.

In California, some anti-Trump protesters damaged police vehicles, and nearly two dozen were arrested. The president’s spokesman said political protesters need to show “some respect for the system and for our country and for our government.”

Asked if Mr. Obama has a responsibility to speak out against violent political protests, Mr. Earnest said the president has talked about the need for the political system to be “geared toward resolving conflicts.” He also seemed to turn the question back on Mr. Trump’s political rhetoric.

“This is a big, diverse country,” Mr. Earnest said. “And people are going to have different points of view. And we resolve those differences, not through violence, not by taking up arms against one another, not by questioning someone else’s patriotism or judging based on their religion or their color or who they are, but rather through our system of government.”

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