Beto O’Rourke confronted Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in the middle of a news conference following the mass shooting that killed multiple people, including 19 children, at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
Sen. Ted Cruz told O’Rourke to “sit down” as he approached the stage where officials were offering new information on the shooting.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told the candidate that he was “out of line and an embarrassment,” and motioned for local law enforcement to stop him.
“The time to stop the next shooting is right now, and you’re doing nothing,” O’Rourke said as a law enforcement officer shooed him away from the stage.
As O’Rourke continued to speak off-mic, Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin told authorities to get him out of the auditorium and repeated “Sir, you are out of line.”
The mayor then said, “I can’t believe you’re a sick (expletive) that would come to a deal like this to make a political issue.”
O’Rourke started to shuffle out of the auditorium before stopping halfway where he started speaking again. While not all of his comments were audible, he could be seen pointing at the stage saying, “It’s on you.” McLaughlin fired back by saying, “it’s on (expletives) like you. Why don’t you get out of here?”
As O’Rourke exited, a few people shouted from the crowd for about a minute before Abbott continued the news conference.
“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,” Abbott said, in response to the outburst. “We all, every Texan, every American, has a responsibility, where we need to focus not on ourselves and our agendas. We need to focus on the healing and hope that we can provide to those who have suffered unconscionable damage to their lives and loss of life. We need all Texans, in this one moment in time, put aside personal agendas, think of somebody other than ourselves. Think about the people who are hurt, and help those who have been hurt.”
O’Rourke, who won the Democratic primary back on March 1 by carrying over 90% of the vote, will face off against Abbott for the Texas governorship in November.
Already a staunch advocate before the Uvalde shooting, O’Rourke is certain to make gun control a central theme of the race.