Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke crashed Gov. Greg Abbott’s press conference on Wednesday where state officials were meeting to discuss the Tuesday shooting in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 students and two teachers were killed by a gunman.
Videos showed O’Rourke approaching the stage where Abbott, Sen. Ted Cruz and more politicians were convening after Tuesday’s tragedy. O’Rourke, who will challenge Abbott in the Texas gubernatorial election, reportedly interrupted the proceedings after Abbott blamed the shooting on the country’s mental health crisis.
“You are doing nothing,” O’Rourke said after he approached the stage. “You said this was not predictable; this is totally predictable.” Several Texas officials immediately berated O’Rourke for interrupting the press conference, and several members of the audience shouted out at him.
“He needs to get his ass out of here. This isn’t the place to talk this over. Sir, you’re out of line. Please leave this auditorium. I can’t believe you’re a sick son of a bitch that would come to a deal like this to make a political issue,” one person on stage yelled at O’Rourke.
As sheriffs escorted O’Rourke out of the building, he pointed to the stage and said, “It’s on you.”
"It's on you."
— The Recount (@therecount) May 25, 2022
Outside, O’Rourke talked with reporters and brought up Abbott’s inaction after the 2019 El Paso shooting where a gunman killed 23 people at a Walmart.
“He came to my hometown of El Paso after 23 people were slaughtered. He said he was going to do something; he did nothing,” O’Rourke said. “In fact, the only thing he did was make it easier to buy a gun. The only thing he did was make it easier to carry a gun in public, and he bragged about the fact that there would be no background check, no training, no vetting whatsoever. He talked about that this was evil; the only thing evil is what he continues to do to the people of this state. He says this was unpredictable; it was totally predictable. And I predict this will continue to happen when you continue to have a governor who does not stand up for the people of Texas. His only interest is the gun law.”
— Jala Washington (@Jala__WashTV) May 25, 2022
After the Uvalde shooting, O’Rourke criticized Abbott on Twitter for his views on gun safety and failing to prevent these tragedies from occurring.
“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,” O’Rourke tweeted.
He also called out Abbott for attending the NRA’s pro-gun rally this weekend, held in Houston. Cruz and former President Donald Trump will also deliver speeches at the event, which is still on track to take place just days after the shooting and less than 300 miles away.
O’Rourke tweeted, “Governor 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.”