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Uvalde, Texas, Mayor Don McLaughlin slammed former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, after he disrupted a news conference being held in the wake of the school shooting in the town.
McLaughlin, a Republican, lamented to Fox News that every time there is a tragedy like this, some lawmakers always jump to politicize it.
During the conference, Gov. Greg Abbott – who is also O’Rourke’s November opponent – was handing the mic to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick when O’Rourke rose from his seat and confronted the speakers, blaming the governor and claiming his inaction led to the shooting.
Onstage, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, sharply admonished O’Rourke to “sit down,” before McLaughlin stood and demanded O’Rourke cease his display:
“[Y]ou’re a sick son of a b—- that would come to a deal like this to make a political issue,” he boomed, as another male voice shouted at O’Rourke to “get the f— out of here.”
On “Hannity,” McLaughlin said it is “too important” in the aftermath of tragedy to properly reflect, and allow public officials to provide grieving families the information they need without political histrionics.
“That was not the time and place to have that discussion. If he wants to have that discussion, that’s fine. But today at that conference was not the time or place to do that,” he said.
“My heart is broken for these families that lost these children… but that’s the problem. Every time we have one of these, it’s a political deal. What happened to the grown men that we elected to represent us in Congress?”
McLaughlin said it is increasingly difficult for both political persuasions to sit, negotiate and come to a constructive conclusion.
“I’m not going to get 100% of what I want. You’re not going to get 100% where you want, but nobody wants to have that discussion — It’s either going to be my way or the highway,” he said.
McLaughlin acknowledged there is a “gun problem” and suggested increased background check specificity, but added the mental health crisis in the United States must be addressed.
Host Sean Hannity added federal politicians shouldn’t lecture the public like O’Rourke did, while ignoring rampant daily violence in Baltimore, Chicago and the District of Columbia.
McLaughlin agreed, adding that one commonsense policy proposal would be to increase the prevalence of armed school resource officers, adding that for the moment, his focus is on keeping the Uvalde community strong through the tragedy’s aftermath.