Several 2020 Democratic candidates are blaming two weekend mass shootings on President Donald Trump’s rhetoric.
Beto O’Rourke, a former Texas congressman, said Trump is a white nationalist, and claimed he is responsible for the influx in mass shootings and violence in America.
When the 2020 candidate was asked Sunday morning by CNN’s Jake Tapper if he believed Trump is a white nationalist, O’Rourke said, ‘Yes, I do.’
This was echoing something longshot 2020 contender Jay Inslee said during the debates in Detroit, Michigan last week, which was just a few days before the massacres, when he called Trump a ‘white nationalist.’
‘We have a problem with white nationalist terrorism in the United States of America today,’ the former Texas representative from El Paso said.
Beto O’Rourke said Sunday morning that Donald Trump is a ‘white nationalist’ and ‘racist’ that is emboldening act of ‘white nationalist terrorism’
‘These are white men motivated by the kind of fear that this president traffics,’ O’Rourke said of two shooters who carried out separate mass shootings in under 24 hours this weekend
O’Rourke returned to El Paso this weekend. The shooting there on Saturday resulted in 20 deaths. O’Rourke’s family lives in El Paso and he represented the area when he was a congressman
O’Rourke returned to El Paso, which he represented when he was a congressman, after a mass shooting occurred at a Walmart on Saturday, leaving 20 people shot dead and 26 others injured.
‘These are white men motivated by the kind of fear that this president traffics,’ O’Rourke said of the shooter in El Paso and another shooter in a separate mass shooting in Ohio during the early hours of Sunday morning that resulted in another nine deaths and 26 others were injured.
Police said the shooting in Dayton, Ohio took place in ‘less than a minute’ and killed at least nine and injured 26 others.
O’Rourke suggested during an interview on CNN’s State of the Union just hours after the Ohio shooting, that the current president is emboldening these types of terrorists.
‘The Commander in Chief is sending a very public signal to the rest of this country about what is permissible, and in fact even what he encourages to happen,’ O’Rourke said of the shootings. ‘So let’s connect the dots here on what is happening, and why it is happening, and who is responsible for this right now.’
The Texan, who was unsuccessful in his effort to take Republican Ted Cruz’s seat in the 2018 midterms, said it is other Americans’ responsibility to call out Trump’s racism.
The sentiment O’Rourke shared was an echo of what fellow 2020 contender Jay Inslee said during the Detorit, Michigan primary debates last week where he called Trump a white nationalist
President Donald Trump has come under fire recently for several comments that were deemed racist, including calling Baltimore, which is more than 60 per cent black, ‘disgusting’ and ‘rodent infested’
O’Rourke said it is not ‘open for debate’ that what Trump has said as a candidate and now as president are racist.
‘He does not even pretend to respect our differences, or to understand that we are all created equal’ the second tier candidate, who often polls right outside of the top five primary contenders, said.
He even equated Trump’s sentiments with those he said he would expect to see from Nazi Germany.
‘He is saying that some people are inherently defective or dangerous. Reminiscent of something you might hear in the Third Reich, not something that you expect in the United States of America,’ he continued, ‘based on their religion, based on their sexual orientation, based on their immigration status, based on the countries that they come from.’
New reports are emerging that suggest the shooter in Texas was motivated because he wanted to kill as many Mexican people as possible.
The Trump administration has imposed hard line immigration policies since he has taken office, and one of his biggest campaign promises was to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexican to curtail influxes in illegal immigration.
Several comments from Trump recently have also come under fire for being ‘racist’ and imposing ‘white nationalist’ sentiments.
Pete Buttigieg, another 2020 contender, also said Trump is a ‘white nationalist,’ claiming that ‘at best’ the president is ‘condoning and encouraging white nationalism’
‘It is very clear that this type of hate is being legitimized from up high,’ the South Bend, Indiana mayor told CNN Sunday morning
South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who usually polls just a little better than O’Rourke, shared the Texas politician’s view that Trump is a white nationalist.
He told CNN Sunday morning that if not a white nationalist fully, he is encouraging white nationalist.
‘Yeah, I mean at best he’s condoning and encouraging white nationalism,’ Buttigieg told Tapper.
He said the type of hate in these shootings and other violent acts, like the woman who was killed when run over during clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, is not being helped by the man in the White House.
‘It is very clear that this type of hate is being legitimized from up high,’ he said.
O’Rourke also mentioned the Mosque that was burnt down in Texas soon after Trump signed an order earlier in his presidency that banned people from certain Muslim-majority countries from traveling to the U.S.
‘So again, let’s be very clear about what is causing this and what the president is: he is an open, avowed racist and is encouraging more racism in this country,’ O’Rourke said.
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, who is one of the few black candidates running in the Democratic primary, said Trump is ‘responsible’ for the shootings that rocked the nation over the weekend.
‘I turned my attention to the person who is leading this country, who is, in my opinion, in this moral moment, who is failing,’ Booker said. ‘That at the end of the day, especially since this was a white supremacist manifesto, that I want to say with more moral clarity that Donald Trump is responsible for this.’
Both shooters this weekend where white men. There are reports that the gunman identified as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius in El Paso was motivated to target that area because he wanted to kill as many Mexicans as possible
Cory Booker, who is one of the only black candidates running for president, said Trump is ‘responsible’ for the shootings
‘He is responsible because he is stoking fears and hatred and bigotry,’ he continued when speaking to Tapper. ‘He is responsible because he is failing to condemn white supremacy and see it as it is, which is responsible for such a significant amount of terrorist attacks. He is responsible because he is President of the United States and has failed to do anything significant to stop the mass availability of weapons to people who intend to do harm. And lastly he’s responsible because leaders take responsibility. We are responsible for each other in this culture, in this society.’
Bernie Sanders, one of the front runner candidates in the 2020 primary, said he agreed with the other candidates’ classification of the president.
When asked if he thought Trump is a racist, he said, ‘I do.’
‘It give me no pleasure to say this, but I think that all of the evidence out there suggests that we have a president who is a racist, who is a xenophobe, who appeals – and is trying to appeal – to white nationalism,’ Sanders said. ‘And, you know, it breaks my heart to have to say that this is the person we have who is President of the United States.’
Trump has been briefed on the Dayton shooting and is monitoring the situation, Deputy Press Secretary Steven Groves said.
‘The FBI, local and state law enforcement are working together in El Paso and in Dayton, Ohio,’ Trump tweeted Sunday. ‘Information is rapidly being accumulated in Dayton. Much has already be learned in El Paso. Law enforcement was very rapid in both instances. Updates will be given throughout the day!’
In another tweet he said, ‘God bless the people of El Paso Texas. God bless the people of Dayton, Ohio.’
He called the shooting in El Paso an ‘act of cowardice.’
‘I know that I stand with everyone in this Country to condemn today’s hateful act,’ he tweeted. ‘There are no reasons or excuses that will ever justify killing innocent people.’
Bernie Sanders said he agrees with his fellow candidates that Trump is a white nationalist
Julian Castro, who is from Texas and running for president in 2020, conceded that the only person responsible for the shootings are the shooters, but said Trump is ‘making it worse’
Booker said calling the shooter a coward is actually ‘a reflection’ of Trump’s ‘failure to take responsibility, and cowardice in a time that we need courageous leadership.’
The former Housing and Urban Development secretary Julian Castro, who is from San Antonio, Texas and also running for president in 2020, said Trump is not to blame for the shootings, but said he isn’t helping.
‘President Trump is making it worse,’ Castro said. ‘The person who is responsible for the shooting, is the shooter.’
Last month, Trump waged an attack on House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings, who is black, and Baltimore, Maryland, which the congressman represents in the House.
Many said his comments were racist when he called the city, where the population is more than 60 per cent black, ‘disgusting’ and ‘rodent infested.’ He also said no ‘human being’ would want to live there.
Before that, he was under fire for telling a group of four minority congresswomen to ‘go back’ and fix the issues facing their countries of origin.