Donald Trump’s threat of ‘bloodbath’ if Joe Biden beats him puts GOP supporters on defensive

Supporters of Donald Trump went on the defensive Sunday over his latest inflammatory comments, in which he said at a campaign rally there would be a “bloodbath” if he loses the November presidential election.

The remarks came as he was talking about threats to domestic car production but drew condemnation from Dems for their violent tone.

“We’re gonna put a 100% tariff on every single (foreign-made) car that comes across the line and you’re not going to be able to sell those guys if I get elected,” Trump told supporters gathered near Dayton International Airport in Vandalia, Ohio.

“Now if I don’t get elected, it’s gonna be a bloodbath for the whole — that’s gonna be the least of it — it’s gonna be a bloodbath for the country, that’ll be the least of it,” he added.

Supporters of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee insisted he was talking just about the U.S. auto industry, though they voiced some qualms about his choice of words — the latest in a series of ominous statements from Trump.

“The general tone of the speech is why many Americans continue to wonder, ‘Should President Trump be president?’ That kind of rhetoric — it’s always on the edge, maybe doesn’t cross, maybe does depending upon your perspective,” Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

He also took exception with the flurry of news coverage prompted by the “bloodshed” quote.

“Sometimes the mainstream media, whether they want to or not, can’t resist and they go just a little bit too far, which distracts from what could be the impact,” the lawmaker said.

Rep. Michael Turner, a Republican whose district was the site of the rally, took a similar stance.

“The president’s statements concerning ‘bloodbath’ were about what would happen in the auto industry,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“Certainly, there are statements that he makes that, you know, many Americans would not agree with and many Americans would agree with it,” he added.

For months, Trump has warned of dire consequences if he loses the contest, saying the reelection of President Biden would mark the end of democracy.

He’s also returned to a key theme of his successful 2016 run, the demonization of immigrants.

Trump continued the harsh rhetoric Saturday.

“I don’t know if you call them people,” he said, prefacing the comment with a ramble about members of the MS-13 gang.

“In some cases they’re not people, in my opinion. But I’m not allowed to say that because the radical left says that’s a terrible thing to say,” Trump continued, repeating promises of a massive deportation effort if he returns to the White House.

Turner offered subdued criticism of the “not-human” remarks, saying, “I, of course, have disagreed with those in the past.”

The “bloodbath” comments — and Trump’s praise during the same speech of people imprisoned over the Jan. 6, 2021, siege of the U.S. Capitol — didn’t nudge Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) from his support of Trump.

“I talk in a different format than what the former president does,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“I’m endorsing the Republican nominee for the presidency. And if that’s Mr. Trump, then that’s the best choice of the two choices that we have got.”

Trump’s trademark outlandish rhetoric has spawned endless analysis of what he really means.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the latest instance is cause for alarm.

“What does that mean — he’s going to exact a ‘bloodbath?’ There’s something wrong here,” she said on “State of the Union.”

“How much more do they have to see from him to understand this isn’t what our country is about?” Pelosi said of voters.