On Wednesday, Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke (D) disrupted a press conference speaking about Tuesday’s elementary school shooting in a political statement. Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin called out O’Rourke’s move by saying “I can’t believe you’re a sick son of a bitch who would come to a deal like this to make a political issue.”
O’Rourke rushed up to the podium as Texas Gov Greg Abbott (R) was sharing information on mental health policies in the wake of the shooting when O’Rourke . “You are doing nothing,” O’Rourke said, while approaching. “You said this was not predictable; this was totally predictable, and you choose not to do anything.”
McLaughlin, who was sitting in the back row in a blue shirt and khakis, interrupted him and repeated said, “sir, you are out of line.” He then stated, “I can’t believe you’re a sick son of a bitch who would come to a deal like this to make a political issue.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who was also onstage, told O’Rourke to “sit down” and not “play this stunt.”
Prior to the interruption, Abbott praised the response of police officers who stopped the attack from getting any worse. One officer who responded to the shooting lost a daughter in the attack, he said.
After being escorted out by security, O’Rourke continued speaking to his supporters outside as he said “(Abbott) said he was going to do something. He did nothing. In fact, the only thing he did was make it easier to carry a gun in public”.
At Wednesday’s press conference, Abbott argued that tougher gun laws aren’t a “real solution.”
“People who think maybe we can implement tough gun laws and we can solve it – Chicago, New York and LA disprove that thesis. Chicago teaches you that what you are talking about isn’t a real solution,” Abbott said.
Abbott also said there are continuing discussions about how to address people with mental health challenges in the state, as well as ways to keep schools safe.
Although considered disrespectful by many, Republicans involved in the Wednesday conference have yet to speak further on O’Rourkes statements and actions.
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