At a press conference just one day after the tragic shooting that took the lives of 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, former Congressman Robert “Beto” O’Rourke attempted to put the spotlight on himself and his gubernatorial bid by crashing the event and loudly interrupting state officials as they updated the public and local community on the shooting and the resources being made available to families who are grieving. 

The scene was somber, as Gov. Greg Abbott was flanked by a bevy of state and local officials, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, House Speaker Dade Phelan, U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, and Attorney General Ken Paxton, among others.

Shortly after Abbott explained the counseling that would be made available to families, O’Rourke stood up in the audience and began shouting and interrupting those on the stage.

“This is totally predictable,” O’Rourke said while trying to hijack the event with his own gun control narrative.

While running unsuccessfully for president in 2020, O’Rourke famously stated, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15,” though he has distanced himself from that position in recent months since mounting his bid for governor.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick immediately called O’Rourke out, saying he was an “embarrassment” and “out of line.”

Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin had even stronger words for O’Rourke, telling security to “get his ass out of there.”

“I can’t believe you’re a sick son of a bitch who would come to a deal like this to make a political issue,” McLaughlin added.

McLaughlin has been notably critical of Abbott on the issue of border security, endorsing his opponent Don Huffines in the Republican primary election.

O’Rourke was eventually led out of the room.

“There are family members who are crying as we speak. There are family members whose hearts are broken,” Abbott stated once the clamor in the auditorium subsided. “There’s no words from people shouting that can do anything to heal those broken hearts.”

But while the reaction in the auditorium was one of disgust, that didn’t stop the Texas Democrat Party from doubling down on O’Rourke’s stunt, saying, “A real sick son of a bitch would pray for solutions instead of taking action after 21 Texans were slaughtered in their classroom.”

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens

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