Democrat gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke on Wednesday tried to derail Republican Governor Greg Abbott’s solemn press conference in Uvalde, Texas on Wednesday, as the governor and other Republican leaders were updating the community on Tuesday’s deadly school shooting.
Abbott had spoken for approximately ten minutes, and had just handed the microphone to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, when O’Rourke rushed the stage and began yelling and pointing at them.
“You are out of line, and an embarrassment,” Patrick responded in disgust.
“Sit down, don’t do this stuff!” exclaimed Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who was standing behind Abbott and Patrick.
“You are doing nothing!” O’Rourke hollered. “This is totally predictable!”
Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin, who was sitting in the back row in a blue shirt and khakis, angrily stood up and yelled, “sir, you are out of line!” several times.
“Sir, you are out of line, please leave this auditorium!” McLaughlin cried. “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!”
As law enforcement escorted O’Rourke out of the Uvalde High School auditorium, the Democrat continued to yell and point fingers at the Republicans.
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.
Abbott went on to confirm that the shooter, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, shot his grandmother before carrying out the attack. He then crashed his vehicle outside Robb Elementary School and exchanged gunfire with police before entering a pair of classrooms.
Abbott confirmed that Ramos had made three Facebook posts in the roughly 30 minutes leading up to the shooting.
“I’m going to shoot my grandmother,” Ramos posted first.
“I shot my grandmother,” he posted few minutes later.
“I’m going to shoot an elementary shool,” the third post read.
After the confrontation with O’Rourke, the governor said solemnly, “there are family members who are crying as we speak. There are family members whose hearts are broken. There’s no shouting that someone can do here that can do anything to heal those broken hearts.”
He added, “We need all Texans in this one moment in time, to put aside personal agendas, think of someone other than ourselves! Think about the people who were hurt, and help those who have been hurt!”
O’Rourke’s hostility toward the 2nd Amendment is well known, and it has made him a weak candidate for governor in a state with the most gun owners in the nation. During a Democrat presidential primary debate in September of 2019, O’Rourke raised eyebrows when he enthusiastically defended his support for a mandatory assault weapon buyback program.
“Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47! We’re not going to allow it to be used by our fellow Americans anymore!” he ranted.
His remarks came shortly after a deadly mass shooting that took place in his hometown of El Paso.
During Wednesday’s presser, Abbott noted that people were “rightfully angry,” and said “events like this tear at the fabric of the community.”
“Our job is to make sure the community is not ripped apart,” he said.