ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. -- Ted Cruz responded to Donald Trump's cancellation of his Chicago rally, and said the billionaire has created "an environment that encourages this sort of nasty discourse."
Cruz spoke to reporters at a suburban Chicago Republican dinner about 30 miles away from where his GOP presidential rival was forced to cancel a rally due to safety concerns.
The Texas senator is calling it a "sad day."
He says, "Political discourse should occur in this country without the threat of violence, without anger and rage and hatred directed at each other."
Cruz says blame for the events in downtown Chicago rests with the protesters but "in any campaign responsibility starts at the top."
Cruz says, "When the candidate urges supporters to engage in physical violence, to punch people in the face, the predictable consequence of that is that is escalates. Today is unlikely to be the last such incidence."
Before the event, Cruz made an appearance at the 2nd Annual Illinois Republican Party Governor’s Dinner’ fundraiser at the Palmer House in downtown Chicago.
And earlier this morning he attended a rally in Orlando, Florida.
Five states are holding primaries Tuesday, including Illinois, Ohio, and Florida. So this is crunch time for Cruz. Polls indicate Donald Trump is likely to win in the Illinois primary. Cruz has said if he takes Ohio and Florida, he feels has a real chance to contend with trump come convention time.
Organizers of the event in Rolling Meadows invited all the Republican presidential candidates, but Cruz was the only one who accepted.
Monday, Cruz will be speaking at a community college in Fayetteville North Carolina.
He will spend the weekend campaigning here in Illinois, and Missouri before Tuesday’s primary.