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Republicans condemn Trump's 'blame on both sides' remarks on Charlottesville

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Posted at 8:31 PM, Aug 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-15 20:31:59-04

Business leaders, former aides and late-night talk show hosts weren't the only ones incensed by President Donald Trump's insinuation that Charlottesville demonstrators who opposed the Unite the Right rally might have been just as bad as the white nationalists they were protesting. 

Trump's fellow Republican politicians, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, took to the president's favorite playground -- Twitter -- Tuesday to condemn his assertion that there was "blame on both sides."

Rubio's six-tweet thread argued that, "The #WhiteSupremacy groups will see being assigned only 50% of the blame as a win. We can not allow this old evil to be resurrected."

Ohio's Republican Senator Rob Portman added his voice to the chorus as well, calling for "simple & united condemnation without ambiguity."

But what do they actually mean? Ryan offered a similarly vociferous denouncement of Trump after the president's comments that Latino judge Gonzalo Curiel could not fairly judge immigration cases because of his heritage, calling them "the textbook definition of racism."

After the release of Access Hollywood tapes in which the president boasted about grabbing women's genitals without their consent, Ryan tweeted: "Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified."

Despite this, he has continued to support Trump's legislative agenda.

Rubio tweeted Feb. 28, 2016, "We cannot be a party that nominates someone who refuses to condemn white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan," sold Never Trump campaign gear and endorsed Trump four months later. 

Only time -- and votes -- will tell if these lawmakers have finally reached a breaking point with a president who has publicly feuded with major party leaders and delivered on few of his signature campaign promises.

Trump's marriage to Republican party leadership has never been an easy one, but they haven't served him papers yet.