O’Rourke interrupts Texas school shooting news conference, confronts Gov. AbbottMay 26, 2022
Democratic candidate for Texas governor Robert (Beto) O’Rourke on Wednesday interrupted a news conference in Uvalde, Texas, where Gov. Greg Abbott was providing an update on the Robb Elementary School shooting that killed 21 people.
O’Rourke entered the press conference, approached the stage where Abbott and others were giving updates, and started yelling at Abbott, blaming him and Republican legislators for the actions of the 18-year-old shooter who killed 19 children and two teachers on Tuesday.
“This is on you,” O’Rourke said. “This was totally predictable.”
O’Rourke was quickly surrounded by media as he shouted at Abbott above those shouting at him to sit down or get out. Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin got up and yelled back, telling him to get out and called him “a sick son of a b**** that would come to a deal like this.”
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick also told O’Rourke to leave, saying, “Excuse me, you’re out of line and an embarrassment.”
Abbott kept his cool and didn’t engage.
CBS News reported that O’Rourke was waiting in the area before the news event started and seat holders were in place. There was “a plan to get in there to make a scene,” CBS News reporter Tony Dokoupil said while speaking to CBS News correspondent Janet Shamlian, who was on the scene. She said it was “clearly staged that Beto O’Rourke wanted to confront the governor” during live coverage.
O’Rourke appears to have repeated what he tweeted last night that the shooting was preventable if Texas had enacted gun control laws.
He tweeted last night, “These massacres aren’t natural disasters, acts of God, or random. They are totally predictable, direct consequences of the choices made by Greg Abbott and the majority of those in the legislature.”
He also told Abbott, “if you have any decency, you will immediately withdraw from this weekend’s NRA convention and urge them to hold it anywhere but Texas.”
The NRA annual meeting is scheduled to take place May 27-29 in Houston. Former President Donald Trump is still slated to speak at the event. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz also will be there.
“America needs real solutions and real leadership in this moment, not politicians and partisanship,” Trump said on his social media platform, Truth Social. “That’s why I will keep my longtime commitment to speak in Texas at the NRA Convention and deliver an important address to America.”
Two hours before the Wednesday news conference, O’Rourke tweeted, “We have the power to change this and we will.”
Democrats like O’Rourke have called for more gun control measures, whereas Abbott said the issue was related to mental health. There are mental health issues in communities throughout the state that need to be addressed, he said. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said the legislature had allocated $100 million to mental health resources in the state and they were doing more to help those who are hurting through multiple state agencies and resources.
The news conference was briefly interrupted and a large group of reporters followed O’Rourke outside, where he and others spoke in Spanish.
Shortly after O’Rourke was escorted out, Abbott said it was not a time for personal agendas.
“There are family members who are crying as we speak, there are family members whose hearts are broken,” Abbott said. … “We need to focus not on ourselves and on our agendas, we need to focus on the healing and hope that we can provide to those who have suffered unconscionable damage to their lives and loss of life. We need all Texans to, in this one moment in time, put aside personal agendas, think of someone other than ourselves. Think about the people who were hurt and help those who have been hurt.”
Abbott and Patrick proceeded to explain the resources the state was making available and expressed their empathy and sorrow for the victims and their families.
Abbott faces O’Rourke in the Nov. 8 general election.
This article was originally posted on O’Rourke interrupts Texas school shooting news conference, confronts Gov. Abbott