In an interview broadcast Sunday, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke described President Donald Trump as “sick,” The Hill reports.
O’Rourke appeared on CNN’s State of the Union to discuss, among other issues, Trump’s visit to El Paso, Texas.
The president paid a visit to El Paso in the aftermath of a mass shooting which killed 22 people.
The suspected shooter, reportedly a white supremacist, is thought to have written and shared online a racist manifesto, throughout which he references Trump and uses some of the language the president frequently uses to describe immigrants.
The commander-in-chief’s behavior in the city was widely criticized. According to reports, not a single survivor of the attack agreed to meet with him. Furthermore, during the visit, Trump decided to brag about the crowd size at his El Paso rally, which also prompted criticism.
“That was some crowd,” he said, “and we had twice the numbers outside.”
O’Rourke blasted Trump for comparing crowd sizes instead of focusing on consoling the people of El Paso.
“The people of El Paso told me that they didn’t want to see the president and they didn’t want him to come here,” O’Rourke told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
“That says it all, if you ask me,” the Democrat continued.
“But for him then to focus on comparing political rallies — or on himself or on how much people love him — just shows you how sick this guy is and how [he’s] unfit for this office. He should be consoling people,” he said.
An El Paso native, O’Rourke has repeatedly suggested that Trump is responsible for the deadly mass shooting. The Democrat doubled down on his claims Sunday, suggesting that Trump’s depiction of El Paso as a crime-ridden city had inspired the shooter to commit the gruesome act.
According to O’Rourke, the president’s “description of El Paso as one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S…. helped to cause somebody to drive more than 600 miles to kill people in this community.”
Trump’s response to the mass shooting has generated a deal of controversy, but it was not only his bragging about the size of his crowd that was deemed insensitive. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, both the president and the first lady were criticized for posing “sprightly” with a baby who survived the shooting.
This photo of the president grinning and giving the thumbs-up with a baby who was orphaned by the El Paso shooter, who spouted Trump’s rhetoric, is the perfect distillation of his presidency. https://t.co/19iUC9wTLB
— Slate (@Slate) August 11, 2019
Trump behaved similarly during his visit to Dayton, where a mass shooting had also taken place. After his trip to Ohio, the president slammed local leaders, Senator Sherrod Brown and Mayor Nan Whaley, criticizing both of them via Twitter.
In the aftermath of the events, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of The Making Of Donald Trump, David Cay Johnston, said that he believes Trump is “deeply mentally ill,” which is why he failed to show empathy.