Senator Says College Protests Aiding Trump

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said last week that the ongoing college protests against Israel will ultimately help former President Donald Trump at the ballot box in November. The comments came amid increasing concern over the growth of the protests and hundreds of arrests on and near college campuses.

Cotton said during an interview Sunday that condemnation of hatred in the protests came “too late” from President Joe Biden.

The senator also said that the president “didn’t specifically speak to what they’re saying and what they’re doing. They’re chanting ‘final solution’ or telling Jews to go back to where they came from. They’re spray painting buildings with vile, antisemitic hate.”

Cotton said that one of the “many reasons why Donald Trump is going to win this election is you’ve got Democratic protesters out there putting a terrorist headdress on a statue of George Washington.” The comment referred to students at the George Washington University Law School placing a Palestinian flag and headscarf on a statue of former President George Washington.

“Meanwhile, you have patriots, like these frat boys at UNC and around the country, who are defending the American flag, and Joe Biden refused for two weeks to come out and denounce it. That is the 2024 election,” Cotton said.

“The mobs on campuses aren’t merely political opponents with a different view,” wrote the representative. “They’re Hamas supporting antisemites who deserve our contempt.”

The protests have taken on a more confrontational tenor in recent weeks, as police have cleared out tent encampments and student occupation of student buildings. One clearing last month at Columbia University resulted in more than 100 arrests, including that of the daughter of Rep. Ilhan Omar (R-MN).

This included interrupting the commencement at the University of Michigan, which was met by cheers and boos.

Cotton received considerable attention during the 2020 George Floyd riots after he called for the military to be used to break up the rioting in an op-ed in the New York Times.

The Arkansas senator endorsed the former president earlier this year, saying that Trump was the best candidate to get the country back on track.