Democrats are pointing the finger of blame at President Trump and Republicans following recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
Two mass shootings at crowded public places in Texas and Ohio claimed at least 29 lives in less than 24 hours and left scores of people wounded.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) tweeted, “When President Donald Trump spends more time and energy denouncing Rep. Elijah Cummings and Baltimore than he does denouncing right-wing extremists who often traffic in hate and white nationalism, it shows his priorities are un-American and way off balance.”
“El Paso, Dayton, one awful event after another. Senator McConnell must call the Senate back for an emergency session to put the House-passed universal background checks legislation on the Senate floor for debate and a vote immediately,” he added.
In television interviews, several Democratic presidential candidates urged additional gun restrictions such as universal background checks. But they also cited Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and racial language.
Julian Castro, who previously served as San Antonio mayor and U.S. housing secretary, pointed to a “toxic brew” of white nationalism and said Trump needs to do more to “unite Americans instead of fanning the flames of bigotry.”
Beto O’Rourke, a former congressman from Texas, accused Trump of being a white nationalist and said he is encouraging “open racism.”
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker said Trump bears responsibility because he has done nothing to call out rising hatred in the United States.
“[Trump] is responsible,” Booker said on NBC News Sunday. “He is responsible when he has taken no action whatsoever to even condemn white supremacy. … We have a president who is responsible.”
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders blasted Republican Senate leadership for being “more concerned about pleasing the NRA than listening to the vast majority of the American people” and said that President Donald Trump has a responsibility to support commonsense gun safety legislation.
Jon Cooper, chairman of The Democratic Coalition, tweeted at Vice President Mike Pence, blaming him, Trump and Republicans. He wrote, “The blood of innocent victims is on your hands!”
A student, who lost his sister in the Parkland shooting, defends Republicans
Florida State University student Hunter Pollack, who lost his sister in the 2018 Parkland, Florida, school shooting, had a different approach. He urged people to stop using the weekend’s shootings to “attack Republicans and the NRA.”
“After the Parkland school shooting where my sister died, the left pounced on the opportunity to attack republicans and the nra,” Pollack tweeted Saturday evening. “They used my sisters death to advance their radical agenda. They are doing the same thing with the El Paso shooting. It’s pathetic and wrong.”
Mulvaney defends President Trump
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Sunday also defended President Trump.
“This is a serious problem — there’s no question about it — but they are sick, sick people, and the president knows it,” Mulvaney said on ABC’s “This Week.” “I don’t think it’s fair to try and lay this at the feet of the president.”
“This is a serious problem … but they are sick, sick people and the president knows that … I don’t think it’s fair to try and lay this at the feet of the president,” Mick Mulvaney says when asked why Trump downplayed the threat of white nationalism. https://t.co/Cw6CaMPTKg pic.twitter.com/qrRZaRLcTh
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) August 4, 2019
“This was a sick person. The person in Dayton was a sick person. No politician is to blame for that. The people responsible here are the people who pulled the trigger,” he said. “We need to figure out how to create less of those kinds of people as a society and not trying to figure out who gets blamed going into the next election.”
Includes reporting from the Associated Press