2020 Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, who is from El Paso, Texas — the location of a mass shooting where more than 20 people were killed in an apparent racist attack — said Monday that President Donald Trump is not welcome there.
O’Rourke, who has repeatedly labeled Trump a “racist,” said that Trump helped create the tragedy in El Paso.
“This president, who helped create the hatred that made Saturday’s tragedy possible, should not come to El Paso,” O’Rourke wrote on Twitter. “We do not need more division. We need to heal. He has no place here.”
Trump will be visiting El Paso on Wednesday, Mayor Dee Margo said during a press conference on Monday afternoon. Margo said he will meet with the president, as it is not a political visit.
El Paso police have linked the suspected shooter to a “manifesto” he published before the shooting that contains anti-immigrant and racist rhetoric, and authorities are investigating the attack as a potential hate crime.
The suspect is a 21-year-old white man from Allen, Texas — part of the Dallas suburbs and nearly nine hours from El Paso.
The death toll is 22 people in the shooting, with another 24 injured as of Monday.
Since Saturday’s shooting, O’Rourke has repeatedly and forcefully slammed Trump’s rhetoric, as well as the media’s coverage of Trump’s language.
During an interview on Monday, the Texas Democrat and former member of the House of Representatives compared Trump’s presidency to the Third Reich — the second such Nazi comparison in as many months.
“The only modern Western Democracy I can think of that has said anything close to this is the Third Reich, Nazi Germany,” O’Rourke said. “Talking about human beings as though they are animals, making them subhuman, to make it OK to put their kids in cages.”
“This president, his open racism, is also an invitation to violence,” O’Rourke continued.
“Though we bore the brunt of this hatred, we’re also the best example for [the U.S.] going forward. A city of immigrants that is 1 of if not the safest cities in U.S. today not despite but because we come from the planet over to call this community & country home” —@BetoORourke pic.twitter.com/1xjI0iuqMJ
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) August 5, 2019
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SOURCE: USA Today, Rebecca Morin