On Wednesday, Aug. 7, President Donald Trump planned to visit residents of El Paso, Texas, following a deadly mass shooting on Saturday, Aug. 3. While the nation is still grieving over the El Paso shooting and the Dayton, Ohio, shooting that followed the next day on Aug. 4, Donald Trump's tweet about Beto O'Rourke mocked the 2020 presidential candidate's name just a head of his visit to the Lone Star State. The timing could have been better thought out on this one, Mr. Trump.
On Saturday, Aug. 3, an armed gunman killed at least 22 people when he opened fire in a Texas shopping center in El Paso, Texas. President Donald Trump was scheduled to visit the city on Wednesday, Aug. 7, but on the night of Aug. 6 the president took to Twitter to mock El Paso politician and 2020 presidential candidate, Beto O'Rourke. In the tweet, Trump claimed O'Rourke's nickname "Beto" was a "phony name to indicate Hispanic heritage" and proceeded to call out his presidential polling numbers in the Democratic primary. Finally, Trump ended the tweet by telling the politician to "be quiet" and respect law enforcement in the city.
Beto (phony name to indicate Hispanic heritage) O’Rourke, who is embarrassed by my last visit to the Great State of Texas, where I trounced him, and is now even more embarrassed by polling at 1% in the Democrat Primary, should respect the victims & law enforcement - & be quiet!
Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on President Trump's tweet, but did not hear back in time for publication.
O'Rourke's full name is Robert Francis O'Rourke, but has had the childhood nickname "Beto" for years. The name "Beto" is a common nickname in Hispanic communities for those named Alberto, Roberto, Humberto, and more. While O'Rourke is of Irish heritage, he does not appear to have claimed any Hispanic heritage, explaining the nickname as one that was given to him during his childhood in heavily Hispanic and Latinx El Paso. Nevertheless, the nickname has caused controversy.
O'Rourke responded to Trump's tweet by claiming the fatalities caused by the mass shooting were due to Trump's "racism," and stated he and his hometown would not be quiet in the wake of this tragedy. "22 people in my hometown are dead after an act of terror inspired by your racism. El Paso will not be quiet and neither will I," O'Rourke wrote. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on O'Rourke's tweet.
Following the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, O'Rourke put his presidential campaign on hold to visit his hometown and hold a vigil for the victims on Sunday, Aug. 4. While speaking to the attendees, O'Rourke called out Trump for his controversial remarks about immigrants, stating his words "incite violence." He said,
We have a president right now who traffics in this hatred, who incites this violence, who calls Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, calls asylum seekers animals and an infestation.
Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on O'Rourke's comment, but did not immediately hear back.
After the vigil, O'Rourke spoke to the media about the mass shooting, and didn't hold back. One reporter asked O'Rourke how President Trump can make the issue of gun violence in the United States better, and O'Rourke criticized the press for "asking questions they already know the answers to." The moment, which was caught on video and went viral across the internet, shows O'Rourke frustrated and eventually exclaiming "Members of the press, what the f*ck?"
Despite his strong response, O'Rourke took to Twitter on Monday, Aug. 5 and stated he stands by what he said.
Saying O'Rourke isn't the biggest fan of Trump at the moment is definitely an understatement. Well, he'll have his chance to challenge him — let's see how it turns out.