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Potty mouth president: 3 takeaways on Trump's 'bloodbath' rhetoric

Republican Donald Trump has been open about deliberately using inflammatory words to attract attention in the 2024 presidential race.

If you don't use certain language "that maybe are not very nice words, nothing will happen," the former president said in a Howard Kurtz.

Trump employed that signature tactic during his infamous June 2015 announcement speech when he described some Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists, which he later admitted was planned.

It is a style that excites his conservative base as a leader who rejects the supposed political correctness imposed by liberal Democrats. But it is something that alarms detractors and frightens experts who described it as an authoritarian-leaning campaign, especially in the aftermath of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol led by Trump supporters.

"Wake up people. This is an emergency. This is what authoritarian thugs and terrorists do," Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a history professor at New York University and author of "Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present," .

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She was referring to Trump sharing a video this past week of a pickup truck that had a decal with President Joe Biden hogtied.

Former President Donald Trump gestures to the crowd after speaking at a campaign event in Rome, Georgia, on March 9, 2024.

Yet that use of language and imagery is something Trump has intensified in his increasingly personal grudge rematch against Biden this year.

"Your victory will be our ultimate vindication, your liberty will be our ultimate reward and the unprecedented success of the United States of America will be my ultimate and absolute revenge," Trump said during this year's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in February.

With the campaign now shifting to general election mode, more attention is being paid to Trump's rhetoric on the campaign trail and the use of macabre imagery online to convey his ideas.

Here are some key takeaways.

Metaphor or nah, Trump uses this sort of language — a lot

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally at the Dayton International Airport on March 16, 2024 in Vandalia, Ohio. The rally was hosted by the Buckeye Values PAC.

Sometimes it's ; other times it is suggestive enough to give the presumptive GOP nominee wiggle room to deny Democratic claims.

But it's always meant to get a reaction, whether from allies or critics, especially on hot-button topics such as immigration and crime.

In March alone, Trump raised eyebrows when he said some undocumented migrants coming to the U.S. were "not people." That outrage was matched a few weeks later by those furious when he said Jewish Americans who vote Democratic hate Israel and "their religion."

One of the more pronounced backlashes from liberals this month, however, appeared to play into Trump's hands.

At an Ohio rally, he said the nation would face a “bloodbath” should he lose this November. That remark sent Democrats through the roof, but it was in the context of his call for a strict tariff on Chinese-made cars to protect the U.S. automakers.

"We're going to put a 100% tariff on every single car that comes across the line, and you’re not going to be able to sell those guys if I get elected," Trump said.

"Now, if I don’t get elected, it’s going to be a bloodbath for the whole – that’s gonna be the least of it. It’s going to be a bloodbath for the country. That’ll be the least of it."

The Jan. 6 anxiety

Part of the reason Democrats, anti-Trump Republicans and political observers pounce on every word out of Trump's mouth is a broader anxiety about the state of American democracy.

This is primarily based on the 2021 Capitol riot, which saw with trying to overturn the 2020 election.

That Trump was the "central cause" of the attack, according to a 2022 House investigative committee report, is often lost in the day-to-day campaign coverage.

It also links backs to his ongoing refusal to admit losing the last presidential contest, which has become a GOP litmus test and further fuels much of the concern about his rhetoric.

As far back as 2016, Trump alluded to "" by supporters if he didn't win the Republican nomination. Since then, he often brings up potential violence or uses violent images when either discussing political issues or his multiple court cases.

Trump raised the possibility of "bedlam" overtaking the country in the face of legal challenges to his candidacy and "potential death (and) destruction" when the Manhattan district attorney was pursuing the ongoing hush-money case. He also shared images of himself carrying a baseball bat near Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's head in a since-deleted Truth Social post.

Potty mouth presidents

Domenic Santana yells at another protestor at Fulton County Jail intake center in Atlanta, Ga. on Aug 24, 2023. A grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia indicted former president Donald Trump and 18 other defendants with 41 charges related to tampering with the 2020 election. All defendants have been ordered to turn themselves in by August 25.

One thing that is different about this era of politics is is far more acceptable.

When speaking about Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who's prosecuting the Georgia election fraud case against Trump, the former president mocked her name during the Ohio rally, for instance.

"It's spelled . At other times and .

As ˽ýӳ has noted, Trump has helped usher in a new era of foul-mouthed elected officials and candidates who would have made previous generations blush.

At a rally in Georgia, for example, Trump Biden touches “turns to sh--."

Biden has joined in using expletives, too, but behind the scenes, according to a February

A 2019 Harris X survey found for public officials to use obscene language in public.

When the same polling firm asked a similar question in 2022 about whether Americans were bothered hearing profanity in public, .

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