A former sheriff running for Florida’s 4th Congressional District said Black Lives Matter should be labeled a “hate group” in a debate Thursday.
John Rutherford is running to replace retiring Rep. Ander Crenshaw. He reiterated his belief that Black Lives Matter’s rhetoric causes issues, reports News 4 Jax.
Debate moderator Kent Justice asked Rutherford if he said that Black Lives Matter should be classified as a “terrorist group.”
“Specifically Kent, what I said was they should be labeled a hate group. That’s exactly what I said. And look, I stand by that. This group, if you look at the rhetoric that’s coming out, marching down the streets of New York talking about frying police officers like pigs in a, bacon in a blanket or something like that,” Rutherford said.
Rutherford also said while the group might not actually commit the violence, the language they use encourages it.
“Horrible rhetoric to attack police. And then a couple weeks later, we have a couple of police officers that are murdered, sitting in their squad car? Yes, they should be labeled a hate group. Now, they may not go out and commit the violence themselves, but they certainly use their rhetoric to light the fuse,” Rutherford continued.
He is running as a Republican with the intent to repeal Obamacare, lower taxes and stop illegal immigration.
“I would point to a proven record of principled leadership, honor and integrity, that’s necessary to make the kinds of decisions that need to be made in Washington, D.C.,” Rutherford said, when he announced that he would be running.
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