In the wake of the mass shootings that left at least 31 dead in El Paso and Dayton, Democratic presidential candidates used the situation to restart a tense policy debate on gun control, while not abiding by the normal standards of decorum in their calls for action.
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, in comments shared on Twitter by his campaign manager, called the president’s words “such a bulls**t soup of ineffective words.”
I will let the boss speak for himself. pic.twitter.com/J3dtnopaCo— Addisu Demissie (@ASDem) August 5, 2019
Another candidate, Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, on Monday tweeted “Fck me” after Trump occasionally said the Ohio shooting took place in Toledo instead of Dayton.
Toledo. Fck me.— Tim Ryan (@TimRyan) August 5, 2019
Ryan went on CNN and tore into Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, saying, "Mitch McConnell needs to get off his a** and do something.” On Sunday, he also tweeted, “Republicans need to get their s*** together and stop pandering to the NRA. Period.”
Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke took a similar approach. O’Rourke, who represented El Paso, the site of the shooting in Texas on Saturday, expressed his unvarnished anger when asked if he thinks Trump can make the situation better.
“You know the s**t he’s been saying. He’s been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. I don’t know, like, members of the press, what the f***?”
Democratic leaders in Congress have called on Trump to support new gun restrictions and for McConnell to allow a vote in the Republican-controlled Senate on Democrat-supported gun control language that has passed in the House.
In his speech Monday, Trump did not call for explicit changes to gun laws beyond so-called "red flag laws" that would take guns from those deemed a public risk. However, he said he is open and ready to listen to ideas "that will actually work," adding in his statement that “mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun."