Mike Huckabee suggests 'lack of thought and prayers' behind mass shootings

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) on Monday suggested that a lack of thoughts and prayers is "the single biggest factor" behind mass shootings like the ones that took place in Texas and Ohio last weekend. 

"Despite all those who are denouncing the idea of prayers for the victims ... I will continue to pray for the victims and their families and for an end to this mindless violence, and I hope you will, too," Huckabee, who ran for the Republican presidential nominee in 2008 and 2016, wrote in a blog post on his website.

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"In fact, amid all the finger-pointing and blame-laying and repulsive attempts to turn these tragedies to political advantage before the bodies are even cold, I would posit that the lack of thought and prayers is probably the single biggest factor in what is behind them," he continued.

Huckabee's comments came after a weekend in which mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, left more than 30 people dead. The tragedies have sparked discussions about mass shootings in the U.S. and who or what is to blame.

Some Democratic lawmakers have called out President TrumpDonald John TrumpWHCA calls on Trump to denounce video depicting him shooting media outlets Video of fake Trump shooting members of media shown at his Miami resort: report Trump hits Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage MORE's rhetoric on immigration in wake of the shooting in El Paso. Huckabee, whose daughter, Sarah HuckabeeSarah Elizabeth SandersWhite House press secretary defends lack of daily briefings: Trump 'is the most accessible president in history' Sarah Huckabee Sanders says she is 'relentlessly' attacked by women Sarah Sanders makes debut as Fox News contributor MORE Sanders, once worked as White House press secretary, took issue with their comments. 

He specifically called out former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeButtigieg pushes back on O'Rourke threat to strip religious institutions of tax-exempt status O'Rourke raises .5 million in third quarter Conservatives slam Beto O'Rourke over threat to tax-exempt status for religious organizations MORE (D-Texas), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, for calling the president racist, questioning how "someone who has repeatedly denied being racist can be an 'open, avowed racist.'" 

He later argued that lawmakers will never be able to "legislate the evil out of people’s hearts."

"This is never going to end until we have a reawakening of morality and values, and until kids are brought up once again to believe that we are all made in the image of God, that life is sacred and superficial differences like skin color are meaningless," he wrote before concluding that "passing more laws and pointing more fingers is just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic."

"That’s why I will keep ignoring the scoffers and saying prayers and urging everyone to join together and do the same," he wrote. 

Public officials have received a significant amount of criticism in recent years for using the "thoughts and prayers" phrase in response to mass shootings. Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerRepublicans wrestle with impeachment strategy O'Rourke campaign says path to victory hinges on top 5 finishes in Iowa, Nevada O'Rourke raises .5 million in third quarter MORE (D-N.J), who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, said in May that advocating for "thoughts and prayers" in response to gun violence was "bullshit."