Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke confronted Governor Greg Abbott at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon accusing the governor of not doing anything about the mass shooting at an elementary school that left 19 children and two teachers dead in Uvalde, Texas.
Abbott, surrounded by law enforcement officers and lawmakers, such Ted Cruz, had just finished giving an update on the Uvalde, Texas, shooting Wednesday afternoon. Abbott said mental health was the root cause of the deadly event and that was when O’Rourke approached the stage and interrupted the press conference.
“Governor Abbott, I have to say something” said O’Rourke, who is running for the Democratic nomination to beat Abbott in November’s gubernatorial elections. “The time to stop the next shooting is right now and you are doing nothing.”
Much of O’Rourke’s remarks were hard to hear as he was yelled at by those on stage who were talking on microphones. Among those attempting to speak over O’Rourke was Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who told the ex El Paso congressman to “sit down” and that he was “an embarrassment.”
Uvalde, Texas Mayor Don McLaughlin, standing behind Greg Abbott, yelled at Beto O’Rourke, “I can’t believe you’re a sick son of a b**** that would come to a deal like this to make a political issue.”
When Beto O’Rourke yelled toward the stage, “It’s on you,” McLaughlin replied: “It’s on assholes like you. Why don’t you get out of here.”
O’Rourke was escorted out of the event by security.
O’Rourke’s interuption seemed to channel the nationwide outrage from advocates for stricter gun laws that has followed Tuesday’s shooting. That attack has prompted Democrats in Washington to relaunch efforts to enact gun restrictions although Republicans will not entertain the issue.
Gov. Greg Abbott redirected the press conference by stating, “There are family members who are crying as we speak. There are family members whose hearts are broken,” Abbott said. “There’s no words that anybody shouting can come up here and do anything to heal those broken hearts.”