Democrat Beto O’Rourke, who is running for governor in the state of Texas, interrupted a press conference from the state’s top officials including Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Greg Abbott, to amplify his political platform. He was immediately blasted by local and state officials for the political stunt.
On Wednesday afternoon, state officials and lawmakers held a press conference to address the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. 18-year-old Salvador Ramos stormed Robb Elementary School, killing at least 19 children and several teachers. He was shot dead by a Border Patrol agent who rushed into the school during a shootout with the police.
O’Rourke, who was not invited to speak at the event, crashed the conference to confront the Texas governor.
“Gov. Abbott, I have to say something,” said O'Rourke, a former congressman who ran for the senate, as well as the presidency. “The time to stop the next shooting is right now and you are doing nothing.”
“You said this is not predictable. This is totally predictable,” said O’Rourke of the shooting.
During the confrontation, which was captured on live television, Republican lawmakers slammed O’Rourke for his callousness and willingness to politicize the tragedy.
“I can’t believe that you’re a sick son of a b*tch that would come to a deal like this to make a political issue,” slammed Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin.
“You're out of line and an embarrassment,” said Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
"Sit down," Sen. Ted Cruz said.
O’Rourke, who was led out of the auditorium by police officers, continued to shout at the lawmakers. “This is on you, until you choose to do something different. This will continue to happen. Somebody needs to stand up for the children of this state or they will continue to be killed, just like they were killed in Uvalde yesterday,” shouted O’Rourke.
“(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,” said O’Rourke to members of the press, adding that the governor only cared about appeasing the gun lobby.
O’Rourke became the subject of widespread backlash on social media, with many commentators slamming him over the political stunt.
“Beto danced on the dead bodies of children,” wrote political commentator Mike Cernovich. “He’ll be celebrated by the regime media for this. They have no decency.”
“Despicable. Beto grandstands during this presser for his political ambition. JUST WOW,” wrote radio host Dana Loesch.
“Beto O'Rourke really saw a tragedy and thought how he could make it all about himself,” said Human Events host and conservative commentator Jack Posobiec.