Beto O’Rourke interrupted a press conference with Texas officials in Uvalde, including Gov. Greg Abbott, on Wednesday afternoon.
Many supporters of O’Rourke, a Democrat running for Texas governor, praised the El Paso native for shaking up the status quo responses from Texas officials in the wake of another mass murder that left 21 dead in Uvalde, including 19 elementary students.
There are several here who fit the definition of “Sick Son of a Bitch” in this picture, but none go by the name of Beto. Look instead at the freaks who keep gutting gun laws so 18 year olds can buy weapons designed for war to go into schools and slaughter babies. THAT is sick. https://t.co/LqhKSipOEW
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) May 25, 2022
MSNBC host and former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough defended O’Rourke immediately after the moment, which was carried live by multiple news stations.
One of the officials on the dais with Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, Abbott, and Sen. Ted Cruz, was Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin, who called O’Rourke a “sick son of a bitch,” from the stage.
“There are several here who fit the definition of ‘Sick Son of a Bitch’ in this picture, but none go by the name of Beto,” Scarborough posted in a message on Twitter. “Look instead at the freaks who keep gutting gun laws so 18 year olds can buy weapons designed for war to go into schools and slaughter babies. THAT is sick.”
Political pundit and former chief strategist for George W. Bush’s 2004 presidential campaign Matthew Dowd, said “more leaders need to stand up like you in this moment.”
— Jasper Scherer (@jaspscherer) May 25, 2022
— Luz Moreno-Lozano (@LuzMorenoLozano) May 25, 2022
“The only way we honor the [lost] loved ones is to do something now,” Dowd posted on Twitter. “You have true courage my friend. And a heart of a leader.”
Former FOX news commentator Monica Crowley accused O’Rourke of political grandstanding, which was the obvious view of many on the right
“The murder of children is a singular evil. Beto O’Rourke saw it as an opportunity to score political points,” Crowley posted in a message. “What a despicable POS.”
Others defended O’Rourke’s action as necessary.
“If you want to dismiss this as a ‘stunt,’ go ahead,” former ESPN and MSNBC host Keith Olbermann said in a Twitter post. “By that standard so is every presidential debate. You are allowed to plan your non-cooperation with state propaganda.”
More of this energy. All day. Every day. Thank you, @BetoORourke. Thank you, @ChrisMurphyCT. MORE of this. And LOUDER!! It needs to be way louder than the UntuckIt fucker in the back. https://t.co/K1KjRYxUKK
— George Hahn (@georgehahn) May 25, 2022
They are more upset Beto interrupted the press conference than 19 kids dead. https://t.co/VH2r99D5kc
— Rex Chapman (@RexChapman) May 25, 2022
Instant take: His base will love this, reading it as the kind of dramatic fighter they want. He'll raise a ton of $ off it. But others will see it as unseemly, taking an important official event and making it about himself. https://t.co/053hJgDOV6
— Ryan J. Rusak (@rjrusak) May 25, 2022
Reporter: "What do you say to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who says now is not the time to make this political?" Beto O'Rourke: "Now is the time to stop the next shooting." pic.twitter.com/nVA51KiW1o
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 25, 2022
I hope Democratic senators & congresspeople follow @BetoORourke’s lead and never shut up about this. @GregAbbott_TX & @tedcruz have blood on their hands—let it be a permanent stain https://t.co/prRtGK8eX9
— Adam Scott (@mradamscott) May 25, 2022
The explanation, afterwards, from @BetoORourke
If you want to dismiss this as a "stunt," go ahead. By that standard so is every presidential debate. You are allowed to plan your non-cooperation with state propaganda pic.twitter.com/hCJ78pOXFU
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) May 25, 2022
The murder of children is a singular evil.
Beto O’Rourke saw it as an opportunity to score political points.
What a despicable POS.
— Monica Crowley (@MonicaCrowley) May 25, 2022
There is going to be a lot of debate on this website about the politics and optics of what @BetoORourke did today, but I will say that the traditional political ways of responding have not yielded any results or prevented future shootings
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) May 25, 2022
Bravo @BetoORourke more leaders need to stand up like you in this moment. The only way we honor the lossed loved ones is to do something now. You have true courage my friend. And a heart of a leader.
— Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) May 25, 2022
We should all do what @BetoORourke did. We must peacefully confront those standing in the way of common-sense Gun Reform because they are beholden by the NRA. Don’t let them get away unscathed. Show-up at their events and fundraisers. Flood their offices with calls. Shame them! https://t.co/bQ7sMQEAkM
— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) May 25, 2022
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) May 25, 2022
I was watching live. I agree with Beto on this. It's not his agenda. He told these assholes what we all want to tell them: DO SOMETHING! They're telling us now is not the time. We have to grieve with the families now. Well, it's never the right time for them. NOW is the time!
— Tasos Kaiafas (@sfboiler) May 25, 2022
More Beto: "Now is the time to stop the next shooting...In each case we say 'This isn't the time.' Now is the time, literally, right now. That's why I'm here." pic.twitter.com/quvG5jHKfz
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) May 25, 2022
Beto interrupting the Gov of Texas as a political stunt is the most Beto thing he's done yet.
— Nicole Russell (@russell_nm) May 25, 2022