Gov. Greg Abbott's Uvalde press conference slips into chaos after rival Beto O'Rourke confronts him

Uvalde's Mayor called O'Rourke a "sick son of a bitch."

click to enlarge O'Rourke crashed Abbott's press conference at Uvalde High School this afternoon. - Twitter / @jordanUhl
Twitter / @jordanUhl
O'Rourke crashed Abbott's press conference at Uvalde High School this afternoon.
Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke was escorted out of Gov. Greg Abbott's noontime press conference on the Uvalde school massacre for accusing the Republican governor of doing nothing avert mass shootings.

O'Rourke, a former Democratic congressman from El Paso, is seen in video clips approaching the stage and railing at Abbott about the state's gun laws. The confrontation occurred as Abbott spoke at Uvalde High School about Tuesday's shooting at Robb Elementary School that left 21 people dead, 19 of them children.

The videos show O'Rourke walk toward to stage, then confront Abbott saying, "You're doing nothing" and "this is totally predictable." Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughin, also present onstage, is seen standing up yelling at the local authorities to remove O'Rourke from the auditorium.
"He needs to get his ass out of here," McLaughlin says in the clip, pointing at a Texas State Trooper. "This isn't the place to talk this over."

McLaughlin then confronts O'Rourke directly, loudly booming, "Sir, you are out of line," and pointing at the candidate.

"I can't believe you're a sick son of a bitch who would come to a deal like this to make it a political issue," McLaughlin is heard yelling.

Members of the media followed O'Rourke as he was escorted out. While outside, the Democrat told reporters that Abbott and Republican leaders have shown no urgency in keeping firearms out of the hands of people who would use them for violence.
"It is insane that the governor talks about mental health. It is insane that we allow an 18-year-old to go in and buy an AR-15. What the hell did we think he was gonna do with that?" O'Rourke said. "This one is on us."

A reporter asked O'Rourke if he'd like to respond to Abbott's statement that "now is not the time to make this political."

"Now is the time to stop the next shooting," responded O'Rourke, a father of three. "Right after Santa Fe high school was the time to stop the next shooting. Right after El Paso was the time to stop the next shooting. Right after Midland-Odessa was the time to stop the next shooting. And in each case, we say, 'This isn't the time.' Now is the time."

Members of the press who followed O'Rourke outside weren't allowed back into the high school, Express-News writer and columnist Brandon Lingle tweeted. A Texas State Trooper told reporters that Uvalde High School Principal Randy Harris made the call to ban the media from reentering the school, the reporter added.

"Media not buying it," Lingle wrote in his tweet.

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Michael Karlis

Michael Karlis is a Staff Writer at the San Antonio Current. He is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., whose work has been featured in Salon, Alternet, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, Orlando Weekly, NewsBreak, 420 Magazine and Mexico Travel Today. He reports primarily on breaking news, politics...

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