The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board, May 25, 2022
It isn’t easy for a Democrat to win statewide in Texas these days, and Beto O’Rourke already lost once to Sen. Ted Cruz. Now he’s running for Governor against incumbent Greg Abbott, and on Wednesday he gambled on a stunt that could make or break his campaign.
Gov. Abbott and a variety of state and local officials were holding a press conference to update the public on the Uvalde massacre at Robb Elementary School. It was a governing, not a campaign, event.
After Mr. Abbott had spoken for several minutes, Mr. O’Rourke interrupted to point a finger at the Governor and declare, “This is on you,” referring to the murder of 19 children and two teachers by 18-year-old Salvador Ramos. “You said this was not predictable. This is totally predictable when you choose not to do anything,” Mr. O’Rourke added. The Democrat was then asked to leave by other officials on the stage, with at least one uttering an epithet.
Trailing in the polls, Mr. O’Rourke must figure he had to take a risk on politicizing the murders even as emotions are raw and officials are still trying to figure out Ramos’s motivation. Mr. O’Rourke famously said during his short-lived 2020 presidential campaign that he wanted to ban AR-15 rifles. On Wednesday he got his sound bite. We’ll see if Texans agree that this mass murder was all about gun control.