Presidential Candidate Beto O'Rourke Praises Oklahoma's Resilience Since 95' Bombing During OKC Visit
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke said Oklahoma City’s resilience since the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building has inspired him in the days since the mass shooting that killed 22 in his hometown of El Paso, Texas.
Monday, August 19 O’Rourke visited the site of the Race Massacre at Tulsa’s Black Wall Street and the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. He said similar to the 1995 bombing, the majority of today's investigations into domestic terror threats involve white supremacists.
“If we do not call this problem out for what it is, we will not confront it, we will not stop it and we will not protect our fellow Americans,” O’Rourke said. “I’m learning from the people of Oklahoma, learning from our past, to ensure we are safer, more secure going into our future.”
O’Rourke told reporters he opposes the death penalty for terrorist like Timothy McVey and the El Paso shooter.
“I don’t know that the taking of another life will prevent the taking of lives going forward,” O’Rourke said. “I understand that some people feel differently. And it is hard to argue with them after seeing the faces of the lives lost. Hard to argue with those in El Paso who feel that way when someone came in and killed 22 human beings.”
The candidate was greeted by Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, who O’Rourke said invited him and all of the candidates to visit the site of the county’s deadliest act of domestic terror.
O’Rourke said campaigning in less traditional states like Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas this week is the best way to bring a divided country together on the campaign trail.
“Everyone is important, and we can’t just say that. We have got to be there for them,” he said. “We don’t care how rural or urban, how red, how blue, where you are in the nominating process as a state, how many electoral college votes you have. You are our fellow Americans before you are anything else.”
After talking to press following his private tour of the museum, O’Rourke held a rally in Norman near the University of Oklahoma on the first day of classes.