While campaigning in Iowa on Friday, Beto O’Rourke used the shooting tragedy in New Zealand to seemingly point his finger at Donald Trump. While the 2020 Democrat presidential candidate never said the president’s name, it was clear who he was referring to, linking the killing of Muslims to President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric.
Such hate crimes, O’Rourke said, were the fault of poor “leadership.”
— ThinkProgress (@thinkprogress) March 15, 2019
“We must call out this hatred, this Islamophobia, this intolerance, and the violence that predictably follows from the rhetoric that we use,” O’Rourke said. “We must be better than that. We know that we need leadership that reflects it,” O’Rourke said to a coffee house crowd in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.
“49 human beings killed, as they worshiped in two mosques–an act of violence and hatred and racism and islamophobia that we condemn in no uncertain terms. I hope that you will agree with me that it is not enough to be just compassionate.”
Trump immediately condemned the shooting, calling it a “horrible massacre.”
My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2019
What “leadership” is Beto talking about, exactly? Trump gave the proper response. It was exactly what anyone would expect from an American president.
The shooting suspect is an Australian man who left behind white supremacist writings. In his manifesto, the suspect praised Trump and said he was “a symbol of renewed white identity.”
O’Rourke tried to tie the writings of the racist and probably mentally disturbed suspect to Trump, citing the president’s 2017 comments about there being “very fine people” on both sides of the Charlottesville protest that year.
“These acts of hatred, violence — they’re on the rise, right here in this country.,” O’Rourke said. “They’re part of a larger disease of intolerance that has taken hold in what was thought to be the most open, the most welcoming country the world had ever known.”
“We want to make sure that the kindness, the decency, the respect we show one another in our lives and communities like these, in my hometown, is reflected in our policies, our democracy, in our leadership. And today, sadly, unfortunately, it is not,” he added. “That give rise to more of these hate crimes, which have increased every single year in the United States of America for the last three years.”
No doubt, the 2020 election is fully underway, and Beto O’Rourke plans to attack Trump with everything he’s got.
And even when he has NOTHING AT ALL!