Texas Democratic gubernatorial nominee and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke interrupted a news conference where Gov. Greg Abbott and other officials were providing updates on the Uvalde elementary school shooting.
He approached the stage where Abbott was speaking. Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, among other officials and lawmakers, were in attendance.
“The time to stop the next shooting is right now and you are doing nothing,” O’Rourke told Abbott.
Cruz told O’Rourke to “sit down,” and Lt. Gov Dan Patrick added, “you’re out of line.”
O’Rourke could be heard saying, “this is totally predictable,” and then was told that he needed to leave while being shouted down by officials on stage.
Abbott didn’t engage and barely looked at O’Rourke, but Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin shouted at O’Rourke: “You’re a sick son of a b**ch that would come to a deal like this.”
O’Rourke was led away by officers.
As he walked out of the room, O’Rourke told Abbott, “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.”
Abbott then said the outburst was about an “agenda.”
“There are family members who are crying as we speak, there are family members whose hearts are broken, there is no words that anybody shouting can come up here and do anything to heal those broken hearts. We all, every Texan, every American has the responsibility. We need to focus not on ourselves and our agendas,” he said.
Speaking to reporters after he left the news conference, O’Rourke said of Abbott, “He 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.”
“His only interest is the gun lobby. He’s scheduled to speak at the NRA convention this Friday in Houston, Texas, just days after these kids were slaughtered right here in Uvalde, after they were slaughtered at Santa Fe High School, at Sutherland Springs, In Midland-Odessa, in El Paso, Texas. Five of the worst mass hosting in US history, right here in this state in the last five years, he was governor for every single one of them,” O’Rourke continued.
Less than an hour before O’Rourke interrupted the news conference, he sent an email to his supporters where he said the Uvalde shooting is a “direct consequence” of “choices made by Greg Abbott.”
“These massacres are not 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 Texas legislature,” he wrote.