Trump: ‘Beto O’Rourke Should Respect Victims and Law Enforcement—and Be Quiet!’

August 7, 2019 Updated: August 7, 2019

President Donald Trump said that Robert “Beto” O’Rourke shouldn’t oppose him visiting El Paso, where a mass shooting took place over the weekend.

Trump, writing early Aug. 7, and poised to visit the border city later on Wednesday, wrote on Twitter that O’Rourke should mind his own business, especially in light of polling so low among Democratic primary voters and after what happened last time the president visited the city.

“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 percent in the Democrat Primary, should respect the victims and law enforcement—and be quiet!” Trump wrote.

O’Rourke, a former U.S. Congressman who failed in his bid to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in 2016, held a rally earlier this year in El Paso at the same time as Trump. Trump’s had a turnout of thousands more people.

On the same day of the Aug. 3 shooting, which left 22 people dead, O’Rourke began blaming Trump for the tragedy, claiming that the president’s rhetoric had inspired the shooter to gun down people inside a Walmart.

The alleged shooter, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, explicitly said in a manifesto that his opinions predated Trump. He said the reason that he carried out the shooting was a response to the “invasion of Texas” by Hispanics.

Trump and First Lady Melania Trump were set to depart the White House at 9 a.m. EDT, making their way to Dayton, Ohio, and landing there around 10:30 a.m.

Another mass shooting unfolded early Sunday in the Ohio city, leaving nine dead and others wounded.

After around two hours in Dayton, the Trumps were set to fly to El Paso, arriving there around 1:45 p.m. MDT. They were due to spend around two-and-a-half hours in the city before flying back to Washington, arriving at Joint Base Andrews just before 10 p.m. and back at the White House about 20 minutes later.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke
Democratic presidential candidate Robert “Beto” O’Rourke looks on during a meet and greet at Plymouth State College, New Hampshire, on March 20, 2019. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Trump Remarks on Shootings

Trump on Monday read a statement on the shootings, condemning the shooters, praising first responders, and expressing condolences to the victims.

“The shooter in El Paso posted a manifesto online consumed by racist hate. In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart, and devours the soul. We have asked the FBI to identify all further resources they need to investigate and disrupt hate crimes and domestic terrorism—whatever they need,” the president said.

Trump laid out a number of actions he had ordered to be undertaken, including directing the Department of Justice to work with local, state, and federal agencies and social media companies to try to detect mass shooters “before they strike.”

“As an example, the monster in the Parkland high school in Florida had many red flags against him, and yet nobody took decisive action. Nobody did anything. Why not?” he said.

Trump also said that mental health laws should be reformed and expressed support for so-called red flag laws, which enable law enforcement to take guns away from people even if no crimes have been committed. And he said that he had directed the Department of Justice to propose a bill that would have people who commit hate crimes and mass murders executed “quickly, decisively, and without years of needless delay.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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