President Donald Trump responded Tuesday to Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke after the former Congressman continued blaming him for the mass shooting in El Paso.
“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% in the Democrat Primary, should respect the victims & law enforcement – & be quiet!” the president wrote on Twitter.
Trump was referring to his enormous February rally in El Paso which O’Rourke tried to counter with a rally of his own prior to announcing his run for president.
The president voiced his criticism of O’Rourke after the 2020 presidential candidate repeatedly claimed Trump’s rhetoric criticizing illegal immigrants inspired the mass shooting at an El Paso WarMart on Saturday by a white supremacist.
Since the Saturday shooting, O’Rourke traveled back to his home in El Paso and began a campaign to smear Trump for inspiring the shooting.
On Sunday morning, O’Rourke accused the president on CNN for having “given people permission” to conduct violent mass murder of other people and said that the president was a white nationalist.
The presidential candidate also delivered a speech at a vigil for the slain victims of the shooting in El Paso describing Trump’s rhetoric as something from the “Third Reich.”
Afterward, he grew angry when asked by reporters if Trump could properly address the crisis.
“What do you think? You know the shit he’s been saying. He’s been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals,” he replied. “I don’t know, like, members of the press, what the fuck?”
The 2020 candidate appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Monday morning to again condemn the president as a racist.
“Jesus Christ, of course he’s racist,” he said. “He’s been racist from day one … He’s trafficked in this stuff from the very beginning, and we are reaping right now what he has sown and what his supporters in Congress have sown.”
On Monday morning, Trump delivered a speech about the shootings, consoling the victims and their families, and urging Americans to “condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy.”
Speaking on a podcast with Pod Save America’s Jon Favreau, O’Rourke indicated that Trump was irredeemable, accusing the president of “reveling in the hatred or the racism of the people he purports to lead.”
“He’s past the point after which you just can’t get this back with Donald Trump or under this administration,” he said. “This now is on all of us, we’re long past Donald Trump being able to do anything different.”
On Monday afternoon, O’Rourke told the president not to come to El Paso to try to bring the country together after the shooting.
“This president, who helped create the hatred that made Saturday’s tragedy possible, should not come to El Paso. We do not need more division,” he wrote on Twitter. “We need to heal. He has no place here.”
After O’Rourke learned that Trump would indeed visit El Paso, he urged Americans to “never forget his role in what happened on Saturday” and to hold him accountable.
“[T]hose who have allowed him to do this and are complicit still today in their silence by not calling him out,” he said on Tuesday.
The latest Morning Consult poll shows O’Rourke with just three percent support among Democrat primary voters after falling from an eight percent high in the spring after he announced his candidacy for president.
President Trump plans to visit El Paso and Dayton, Ohio on Wednesday.
Will be going to Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas, tomorrow to meet with First Responders, Law Enforcement, and some of the victims of the terrible shootings.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 6, 2019
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% in the Democrat Primary, should respect the victims & law enforcement – & be quiet!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 7, 2019