Democratic presidential candidates roundly criticized President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE’s response on Monday to two deadly mass shootings over the weekend, accusing him of sidestepping critical conversations about gun violence and the role of white nationalism in such attacks.
Several candidates took to Twitter in the minutes following an address by Trump to condemn the president’s remarks as insufficient.
They argued that Trump failed not only to address the range of causes for mass shootings, but to acknowledge what they said was his role in inflaming racial and ethnic tensions.
“Mr. President, immigration isn’t the problem. White nationalism is the problem. America’s inaction on gun safety legislation is the problem,” former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Did President Biden institute a vaccine mandate for only half the nation's teachers? Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms MORE, the Democratic primary field’s ostensible front-runner, tweeted.
“It’s time to put the politics aside and pass universal background checks and an assault weapons ban. Lives depend on it.”
Mr. President, immigration isn’t the problem. White nationalism is the problem. America’s inaction on gun safety legislation is the problem.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 5, 2019
It’s time to put the politics aside and pass universal background checks and an assault weapons ban. Lives depend on it. https://t.co/zGFDUZyihw
In a tweet, Rep. Seth MoultonSeth MoultonHow lawmakers aided the Afghan evacuation GOP lawmaker says he did not threaten US Embassy staff in Tajikistan House panel approves B boost for defense budget MORE (D-Mass.) said that while Trump was quick to place blame on video games, the media and the internet, he did not discuss how Republicans and his own “racist rhetoric” propagated acts of mass violence.
Things the president blamed for mass shootings:— Seth Moulton (@sethmoulton) August 5, 2019
1. The internet
2. The media
3. Video games
Things he did not blame:
2. His racist rhetoric
The pair of mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, over the weekend left at least 31 people dead and dozens more injured. In the case of the El Paso attack, authorities are investigating whether the shooting was linked to an anti-immigrant manifesto posted online on Saturday.
In an address on Monday morning, Trump condemned “racism, bigotry and white supremacy.” He did not mention a proposal he suggested hours earlier to tie stronger background checks for firearm sales to immigration reform legislation.
Instead, he blamed “mentally ill monsters” and violent video games for contributing to the rash of mass shootings in the United States.
“Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger — not the gun,” Trump said.
Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerDOJ announces agencywide limits on chokeholds and no-knock entries Fighting poverty, the Biden way Top Senate Democrats urge Biden to take immediate action on home confinement program MORE (D-N.J.), who is among those seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, said soon after that the president’s remarks were inadequate, failing to place blame on the real driving forces behind the mass shootings.
“The president is weak. And wrong,” Booker tweeted. “White supremacy is not a mental illness, and guns are a tool that white supremacists use to fulfill their hate.”
The president is weak. And wrong.— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) August 5, 2019
White supremacy is not a mental illness, and guns are a tool that white supremacists use to fulfill their hate.
Another 2020 hopeful, Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHarris, CBC put weight behind activist-led National Black Voter Day Seven takeaways from California's recall election Live coverage: California voters to decide Newsom's fate MORE (D-Minn.), said that Trump’s remarks amounted to a “dodge to avoid truth.” While mental illness and hate are not exclusive to the U.S., she said, the high rate of gun violence is.
“There’s mental illness&hate throughout world, but U.S. stands alone w/high rate of gun violence. When someone can kill 9 people in a minute, that gun should never have been sold,” she tweeted, referring to the shooting in Dayton that left nine people dead after less than a minute of gunfire.
“Mental illness & hate pulls trigger, not the gun” is President’s dodge to avoid truth: there’s mental illness&hate throughout world, but U.S. stands alone w/high rate of gun violence. When someone can kill 9 people in a minute, that gun should never have been sold. Action!— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) August 5, 2019
New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioThree arrested for allegedly assaulting NYC hostess who asked for COVID-19 vaccine proof Letitia James holding private talks on running for New York governor: report Ocasio-Cortez defends attendance of Met Gala amid GOP uproar MORE (D) criticized Trump as well, writing on Twitter that he was “too busy blaming the ‘fake news media’ and people with mental illness to speak the truth.”
“We’re facing an epidemic caused by white supremacy and easy access to military-grade weapons,” De Blasio wrote. “The truth is plain as day. Open your eyes and grow a damn spine, @realDonaldTrump.”
Trump is too busy blaming the “fake news media” and people with mental illness to speak the truth: we’re facing an epidemic caused by white supremacy and easy access to military-grade weapons.— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) August 5, 2019
The truth is plain as day. Open your eyes and grow a damn spine, @realDonaldTrump.
Julián Castro, the former Housing and Urban Development secretary and one of two Texans in the presidential race, said that not only has Trump propagated racism, bigotry and white nationalism, but “often serves as their national spokesperson.”
“Donald Trump is unfit to lead our nation. His words could not be more hollow,” Castro said. “He says ‘we must condemn racism, bigotry and white nationalism’ — but often serves as their national spokesperson.”
“In this national emergency, our president is morally bankrupt,” Castro continued. “We deserve better.”
Donald Trump is unfit to lead our nation. His words could not be more hollow.⁰⁰He says “we must condemn racism, bigotry and white nationalism”—but often serves as their national spokesperson.⁰⁰In this national emergency, our president is morally bankrupt. We deserve better. https://t.co/wr9rNwYpzg— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) August 5, 2019
Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanHawley endorses Vance in Ohio Senate race Congress should know what federal agencies are wasting Trump administration trade rep endorses JD Vance in Ohio Senate race MORE (D-Ohio), who represents a district in northeastern Ohio, used an expletive to pan the president for misstating the location of one of the shootings that occurred over the weekend. Trump, at one point, mentioned Toledo, Ohio, instead of Dayton.
“Toledo,” Ryan tweeted. “Fck me.”
Toledo. Fck me.— Tim Ryan (@TimRyan) August 5, 2019
Updated at 12:57 p.m.