Beto O’Rourke, who was an El Paso congressman for six years, says President Trump’s rhetoric played a role in the El Paso massacre.
WASHINGTON — Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said this week that “mistakes were made” when he sent a fundraising letter earlier this month that reportedly called on his supporters to “DEFEND Texas” and that “we’ll need to take matters into our own hands” regarding undocumented immigrants.
“Unless you and I want liberals to succeed in their plan to transform Texas — and our entire country — through illegal immigration, this is a message we MUST send,” the letter reads, according to a report by BuzzFeed News.
The mailer was dated a day before the deadly shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, that killed 22 people.
“The national Democrat machine has made no secret of the fact that it hopes to ‘turn Texas blue.’ If they can do it in California, they can do it in Texas — if we let them,” Abbott reportedly wrote in the fundraising letter.
Abbott apologized Thursday at a safety commission meeting in El Paso, saying, “Mistakes were made, and a course correction has been made. And I emphasize the importance of making sure that rhetoric will not be used in any dangerous way, and we will make sure we work collaboratively.”
Critics decried the language Abbott used in the mailer.
A representative of the Texas Democratic Party said in a press release Thursday that the governor refuses to apologize for his “racist fundraising mailer” and added that Abbott “won’t answer questions about ending his racist rhetoric immediately.”
Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, whose district includes El Paso, wrote on Twitter Thursday: @GovAbbott was in El Paso today, where the horrific racist-fueled massacre took place on August 3. The terrorist confessed he was targeting Mexicans and immigrants. The Gov sent out a hate filled campaign fundraising letter before the attack and then recently, a racist tweet”
Escobar also tweeted: “He paints immigrants & border communities as dangerous. Today he had an opportunity to rehumanize the people he’s dehumnanized. Instead, he blamed *someone* — not sure who, saying, “mistakes were made,” and that “a performance correction has been made.” Not. Good. Enough.”
The tweet from Abbott Escobar is referring to was dated Aug. 23 and reads: “Google Plyler v. Doe. 5 liberals on the Supreme Court ruled that Texas had to provide and fund public education for illegal immigrants. The next decade, in Texas v. U. S., Federal courts rejected our lawsuit that the federal government should pay for that education cost.”
“Our community is trying to heal from racially driven violence. This hurts. It is dangerous,” state Rep. Joe Moody, who represents El Paso, tweeted Friday.
Prior to asking reporters to leave the room where the safety commission was meeting, Abbott said that what happened in El Paso was “racist hate.”
“The killer in El Paso definitely was a racist, and he was intent on acting out on his racism,” the governor said according to the Texas Tribune and other local media reports. “If you look at his manifesto, you will see time and time again his target was Texas — the Texas culture, the Hispanic community and blended communities.”
“Some of the victims of this horrific crime are blended communities. My family is blended communities. My wife is the first Hispanic first lady in Texas. Her family came from Mexico. We need to address this attack on who we are as Texans,” he continued.
The Texas Tribune first reported on the letter.
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