Minnesota Democrats push misleading ‘bloodbath’ narrative

Many Democrats and media outlets took the quote out of context to falsely suggest that Trump was implicitly or explicitly calling for political violence if he loses in November. 

Former President Donald Trump speaking with attendees at the Republican Jewish Coalition's 2023 Annual Leadership Summit at the Venetian Convention & Expo Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Prominent Minnesota Democrats joined a national chorus condemning former President Donald Trump for remarks he made at a rally in Ohio on Saturday.

Campaigning for Ohio Senate candidate Bernie Moreno in the lead-up to the state’s Republican primary on Tuesday, Trump touched on topics such as car imports, migration, and gang violence.

Addressing the issue of Chinese auto manufacturers building plants in Mexico in what he described as an attempt to evade U.S. import taxes, Trump said he would take a hardline stance on Chinese-made cars in Mexico and “put a 100% tariff on every single car that comes across” the border.

Trump added the caveat: “If I get elected,” saying, “If I don’t get elected, it’s gonna be a bloodbath for the whole — that’s going to be the least of it. It’s going to be a bloodbath for the country.” He went on to say the Chinese are “not gonna sell those cars” that way, and went on to talk about a friend who manufactures cars in the U.S.

Many Democrats and media outlets took the quote out of context to falsely suggest that Trump was implicitly or explicitly calling for political violence if he loses in November.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, quoting an NBC News article claiming that “Trump says there will be a ‘bloodbath’ if he loses the election,” said, “No, there will not be,” and that both the winner and loser of the presidential election will work together “like patriots who love our democracy” instead.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar repeated the inference that “bloodbath” referred to political violence and said that “our very democracy” depends on re-electing Joe Biden in November.

Minnesota’s other U.S. senator, Tina Smith, also suggested that Trump was referring to some form of political violence if he loses the election.

Also stirring controversy were remarks Trump made about MS-13 and other criminal migrants crossing the Mexican border into America. Arguing that Latin American countries are bringing their prisoners to the border to enter America, he said, “These are hardened criminals” who are “not people … these are animals, okay? We can’t have another Laken [Riley].”

The Star Tribune, republishing an article from The New York Times, ran a headline claiming “Trump says some migrants are ‘not people,’” inferring that he meant migrants in general rather than criminals and gang members.

Former Minnesota State Rep. Carlos Mariani quoted the same New York Times article, calling Trump “disgusting and hateful.” Referring to Trump’s “bloodbath” comment and his comments about violent criminals, he called Trump “pathetic” and said his “words give permission to hurt others.”

Trump was in Ohio to support the Senate candidacy of Bernie Moreno, a Colombian immigrant who was born in Bogota and moved to America with his family when he was five years old. Moreno became a U.S citizen upon turning 18, and was a successful entrepreneur before turning to politics.


Shane Hachey

Shane Hachey is a journalist and blogger based in the Twin Cities. He covers national politics, race, and local issues. Prior to that, he studied history at Columbia and law at Harvard Law School, and he was an Army Military Policeman for five years stationed in Germany, Yugoslavia, and Fort Hood, Texas.