Democratic Senator Unhappy With 'Lock Him Up' Chants Says Office of President 'Deserves Respect,' Even if Trump's Actions Don't

Democratic Senator Chris Coons denounced World Series attendees who chanted "lock him up" at President Donald Trump Sunday night, saying he hopes Democrats won't do this at future conventions or 2020 rallies.

Coons, who is under fire from liberal groups for repeated bipartisan efforts, said he was appalled at Americans, whether they be Washington Nationals or Houston Astros fans, chanting to imprison the president at a "globally televised" event. The Delaware senator told CNN's John Berman Monday that he is a "traditionalist" and believes people should respect the office of the president, even if Trump's actions in the past have been at times "despicable."

On Sunday night, Trump's face dropped when he realized a massive portion of the Washington Nationals stadium was booing his presence at the game alongside several congressional Republicans and his wife, Melania Trump.

"Well forgive me, I'm enough of a traditionalist about our institutions that even at a time when there is a lot of that our president does that I find disturbing, offensive, unconventional, I have a hard time with the idea of a crowd on a globally televised sporting event chanting him 'lock him up' about our president," Coons said Monday morning. "I frankly think the office of the president deserves respect, even when the actions of our president at times don't."

Coons expressed his hope that Democrats and other critics of the president won't be so vocal about their distaste for the president at 2020 election events, including the Democratic National Convention in July of next year. He condemned Trump's own rally behavior, which frequently features chants that denigrate his opponents or call for their deportation.

He compared the Trump rally chants and the World Series' "lock him up" chant to those seen in third world dictatorships.

"I certainly hope we won't hear 'lock him up' chants at Democratic rallies or at our convention, I think that is one of the most regrettable, even at times, despicable actions, by candidate Trump when he was running for president in 2016," Coons continued. "It reminds me of things that happen in countries where rule of law is unknown or unestablished, sort of whipping up public furor on both sides, which I don't think is constructive or helpful."

Coons, who has said he supports the impeachment inquiry into Trump's actions, said civility and measured behavior can help that process move forward.

"I understand why crowds in Washington would feel a lot of animus towards our president given a lot of things he's done and frankly that's why I think those of us in the Senate need to approach the impeachment process seriously, in a measured, responsible way, because our very institutions, our constitution, is at risk by these sorts of, these passions that have been unleashed by the politics of our [leaders]."

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Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters
Democratic Senator Unhappy With 'Lock Him Up' Chants Says Office of President 'Deserves Respect,' Even if Trump's Actions Don't | Politics