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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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