Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown says a number of Republican presidential candidates have used "close to hate speech" similar to Donald Trump's about women, immigrants, and minorities.
The Ohio senator added that he thought "there's a pretty good chance" Trump would be the Republican nominee.
On Republicans rejecting Trump's plan to ban Muslim immigrants from entering the country, Brown told WAKR radio on Wednesday morning: "They say it's not well received but considering 35, 40 percent of Republicans are supporting him in the polls, considering that a number of his colleagues have made, Trump just borders on calling, the disrespect he's shown toward women in many of his comments, how he talks about minorities how he talks about immigrants – a number of Republicans have done this in the past. "
"They don't do it as brazenly and outspokenly as he has, " added Brown.
"A number of Republican candidates over the years, including a number this time, have talked, have used close to hate speech about immigrants, about women, about minorities and Trump is the worst violator of that."
Brown said he didn't see Republican candidates calling out Trump. Most of the Republican field has condemned or expressed disagreement with Trump's anti-Muslim immigrant comments.
"I don't see Rubio, I don't see Cruz, I don't see other Republican candidates calling him out on his hate speech," said Brown.
"You don't shut him down by pushing him out of the race, you quiet him down by standing up to him and correcting the record and saying 'no more hate speech, no more demagoguery.' I just don't see many of his fellow candidates doing that, mainly because they want to get the votes if something happens and Trump doesn't win," Brown said.
Brown said he thought Trump's chances of being the Republican nominee were strong.
"I think right now there's a pretty good chance Trump's the nominee and I think it's a bit embarrassing for the country this much of a demagogue would be a major competitor for the party's nomination. It's pretty troubling."
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at email@example.com.
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