Aug 5, 2019

2020 Democrats drive the national conversation after mass shootings

Beto O'Rourke prepares to be interviewed outside the El Paso Walmart. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

At one point Sunday morning, three different 2020 Democrats were being interviewed about the shootings on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News, calling for more gun restrictions but directing much of their criticism at President Trump, AP reports.

Between the lines: ABC News political director Rick Klein told Jonathan Karl on "This Week," "I've been struck by how many candidates have gone straight from the gun control debate to this broader issue ... about the environment that's being festered in this country of racial divisiveness, of the president's rhetoric."

  • Sen. Kamala Harris told reporters before attending services at a black church in Las Vegas: "We have a president of the United States who has chosen to use his words in a way that have been about sowing hate and division."
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders opened a town hall with a moment of silence and by calling for universal background checks for firearms purchases and more restrictions on assault weapons.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, on MSNBC, was among the candidates who called for Senate Majority Leader McConnell to bring senators back to "vote within 48 hours on the two background check bills that have already passed the House."

P.S. Beto gets hot .... Beto O’Rourke, after an emotional vigil in El Paso, asked if there’s anything Trump can do now to make this better (as reported by CNN's Eric Bradner):

  • "What do you think? You know the s--- he’s been saying. He’s been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. I don’t know, like, members of the press, what the f---?"
  • Beto later tweeted: "We know what Trump is doing. He stokes racism. He incites violence. We shouldn’t be asking if there’s anything he can do or if he’s responsible for this when we know the answer. I stand by what I said."

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Beto O'Rourke criticizes media for questions on Trump after El Paso shooting

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke criticized the media's treatment of President Trump after a CNN reporter asked if there's anything Trump can do to make things better following 2 mass shootings over the weekend.

"What do you think? You know the s--- he’s been saying. He’s been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. I don’t know, like, members of the press, what the f---? ... I mean, connect the dots about what he's been doing in this country."
Go deeperArrowAug 5, 2019

After Texas shootings, 2020 Democrats push for gun control measures

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke speaks during the 2020 Public Service Forum hosted in Las Vegas. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidates joined fellow 2020 hopeful Beto O’Rourke in speaking of the need for gun control on Saturday following a second mass shooting in Texas in August.

"Don’t know what the motivation is, do not yet know the firearms that were used or how they acquired them, but we do know this is f**ked up. We do know that this has to stop in this country. There is no reason that we have to accept this as our fortune, as our future, as our fate, and yet functionally right now we have. ... To have a Congress that will not ... even pass universal background checks or close those loopholes that allow people to buy a firearm when they should not be able to."
— Former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke at an event in Fairfax Station, Virginia
Go deeperArrowUpdated Sep 1, 2019

Trump claims Mitch McConnell supports gun background checks

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images


President Trump said Tuesday he spoke with Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) about background checks following this month's mass shootings, and he's "convinced" that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wants to do something about the issue.

"There is nobody more pro-Second Amendment than Donald Trump, but I don’t want guns in the hands of a lunatic or a maniac. And I think if we do proper background checks, we can prevent that."
— Trump's remarks to reporters
Go deeperArrowAug 14, 2019