Bernie Sanders targets Donald Trump in Ohio

Story highlights

  • Bernie Sanders on Sunday slammed GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump over comments the Vermont senator said "encourage violence"
  • Trump has brushed off such criticism

Washington (CNN)Bernie Sanders on Sunday slammed GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump over comments the Vermont senator said "encourage violence."

"A candidate for president of the United States should condemn violence, not encourage violence," the Democratic White House hopeful said at a rally in Columbus, Ohio.
    "You don't go around and say it's okay to beat somebody up and then pay the legal fees. That's not what this country is about," Sanders said just hours before he was set to take the stage for the Sunday night CNN Democratic town hall.
    Tensions at Trump rallies have escalated over the weekend -- Thursday, a man was arrested and charged with assault after allegedly punching a protester in the face and Friday a protest in Chicago canceled the scheduled Trump event.
    Trump blamed the tensions at Chicago event on Sanders' supporters and called protesters at a Cleveland campaign event "Bernie's crowd."
    Trump has brushed off criticism that he's encouraging violence among supports attending his rallies -- though in February, Trump told supporters to "knock the crap out of" protesters.
    Sanders, though, sought to put the blame squarely on Trump.
    "People of this country are not going to elect a president who insults Mexicans, Muslims, women," Sanders said at the Columbus rally. "Who insults veterans, like Sen. John McCain. Who insults everybody who is not like him."