Taunt vs. Iowa Tomato Thrower Featured in Anti-Trump Ad

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With Donald Trump’s presidential rallies increasingly erupting in chaos, including his supporters assaulting protesters and a Chicago event Friday cancelled as the two sides clashed before the candidate arrived, an anti-Trump super PAC is out with a new ad (embedded above) drawing attention to his violence-inciting rhetoric.

The ad features segments from a speech Trump gave in Cedar Rapids on Feb. 1, the day of the Iowa caucuses and less than a week after protester Andrew Joseph Alemao threw tomatoes at The Donald in Iowa City (read our exclusive interview with Alemao here). Six seconds into the ad, Trump is seen telling his Cedar Rapids audience to “knock the crap out of them,” referring to anyone who starts throwing tomatoes. Nine seconds in, the ad returns to the speech, with Trump saying, “I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees.”

Here are Trump’s full remarks:

“So I got a little notice, in case you see — and security guys, we have wonderful security guys. They said, ‘Mr. Trump, there may be somebody with tomatoes in the audience.’ So if you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. Okay? Just knock the hell — I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees. I promise. I promise. They won’t be so much because the courts agree with us, too, what’s going on in this country.”

Trump’s rhetoric contradicts an audio recording that’s been repeatedly played at campaign events before his arrival, which we reported on in January. The recorded voice says, in part:

“If a protester starts demonstrating in the area around you, please, do not touch or harm the protester. This is a peaceful rally. In order to notify the law enforcement officers of the location of the protester, please hold a rally sign over your head and start chanting, ‘Trump. Trump. Trump.’ Ask the people around you to do likewise, until the officer removes the protester.”

The anti-Trump ad was released this weekend by Our Principles PAC, a conservative super PAC founded in January by Katie Packer, deputy campaign manager for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential bid, to try to prevent Trump from becoming the GOP nominee. It has already spent more than $12 million this year, thanks in part to Marlene Ricketts, who is the co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, wife of T.D. Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, and mother of Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts.

Our Principles PAC released another ad today on YouTube featuring women repeating various sexist quips made by Trump over the years, including “Women, you have to treat them like shit” and “A person who is very flat-chested is very hard to be a 10.”

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Gavin Aronsen is an editor and reporter for and founding member of the Iowa Informer. He previously worked as a city reporter for the Ames Tribune, research assistant to investigative journalist Wayne Barrett at the Village Voice, and in various roles at Mother Jones, where his work contributed to a National Magazine Award nomination for the magazine's digital media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Email: garonsen [at] iowainformer [dot] com.