Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX) expressed disappointment on Monday after President Donald Trump did not take responsibility for inciting two mass shootings that occurred over the weekend.
“I was hoping to hear the president today take some ownership and say ‘you know, my rallies have gotten out of hand and I want to apologize for the way that we’ve engaged and I’m committed today going forward to being a part of the solution not a part of the problem,’” Escobar told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell following the president’s address to the nation. “I really, truly was hoping to hear that.”
“That would be completely healing,” she continued. “That would go such a long way, and that would take the target off of the backs of communities like ours.”
Escobar’s remarks were in reference to an address Trump gave earlier in the day, where he called for the nation to condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy in the wake of two deadly mass shootings that took place only hours apart from one another over the weekend.
On Saturday, a gunman opened fire in an El Paso, Texas shopping complex, murdering more than 20 individuals and injuring over two dozen others. A second attacker took the lives of nine people and injured nearly 30 others after he gunned down people in a Dayton, Ohio bar early Sunday morning.
Democratic lawmakers and the news media have repeatedly accused the president of stoking racism and inciting violence since he first took office. Only hours after the first shooting garnered national attention, leftists began to point fingers at Trump for causing the tragedy.
“The president really has singled out Latinos and Hispanics in a terrible way, and he has put a target on El Paso’s back by making us ground zero for so many of his anti-immigrant policies,” Escobar said. “The language that he has used to describe my people, my community, communities like ours all over the country — where we are called breeders, where Mexicans have been called rapists and murderers, where migrants have been called an invasion and an infestation and bringing disease — all of that rhetoric has consequences.”
The Texas congresswoman also appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” earlier in the day, where she warned the president against coming to El Paso to pay his respects to the victims. Referring to Trump as “so utterly self-aware,” she further stated that the president “is not welcome here.”
“I heard earlier someone mention that he may be coming [to El Paso]. I hope that he has the self-awareness to understand that we are in pain, and we are mourning, and we are doing our very best in our typical, beautiful, graceful El Paso way, to continue to be resilient,” Escobar said at the time. “So I would ask his staff, his team, to consider the fact his words and his actions have played a role in this.”
The freshman congresswoman assumed office after former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) relinquished his seat in lieu of an ultimately unsuccessful U.S. Senate run. O’Rourke, who is now seeking the Democratic nomination for the presidency, has appeared on multiple news programs to blame Trump for causing the back-to-back mass shootings.