Following the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, by a man who espoused racist and anti-immigrant views, Democratic presidential candidate and El Paso native Beto O’Rourke has repeatedly blamed Donald Trump for the heinous act that took the lives of over 20 people and injured dozens more. After a few days of O’Rourke condemning Trump in interviews and online, the president finally responded Tuesday, prompting more blame from the presidential hopeful.
Within hours of the massacre at the hands of what police believe is a white supremacist, O’Rourke began laying the blame squarely on Trump for his rhetoric on illegal immigrants. The president, O’Rourke told CNN Saturday, is trying to make Americans “afraid” of immigrants, casting Mexicans as “rapists and criminals” and “attempting to ban all Muslims from this country” — a reference to Trump’s “travel ban” that placed restrictions on a handful of Muslim-majority countries that are high risks for terrorism (designated as such by the Obama administration).
“President Trump’s racism does not just offend our sensibilities; it fundamentally changes the character of this country. And it leads to violence,” O’Rourke tweeted Saturday along with video of his interview with CNN.
President Trump's racism does not just offend our sensibilities; it fundamentally changes the character of this country. And it leads to violence. pic.twitter.com/SbuxGneFnh
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 4, 2019
This president, who helped create the hatred that made Saturday's tragedy possible, should not come to El Paso. We do not need more division. We need to heal. He has no place here.
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 5, 2019
Trump responded directly to O’Rourke on Tuesday, suggesting that he uses his “phony” nickname “Beto” — which O’Rourke’s family gave him as a child — as a way to “indicate Hispanic heritage” and telling him to “respect the victims & law enforcement — & be quiet!”
Beto (phony name to indicate Hispanic heritage) O’Rourke, who is embarrassed by my last visit to the Great State of Texas, where I trounced him, and is now even more embarrassed by polling at 1% in the Democrat Primary, should respect the victims & law enforcement – & be quiet!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 7, 2019
22 people in my hometown are dead after an act of terror inspired by your racism. El Paso will not be quiet and neither will I. https://t.co/dakFPKj0vJ
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 7, 2019
(Read more from “Trump Trades Punches with Beto Ahead of El Paso Visit” HERE)