Texas Democratic gubernatorial challenger Beto O’Rourke lost his cool with a man who laughed while the former congressman was talking about the Uvalde school massacre — calling him a “motherf—er.”
O’Rourke, who has been vocal in his condemnation of local and state officials’ response to the tragedy at Robb Elementary School, which claimed the lives of 19 children and two teachers, was in the city of Mineral Wells on Wednesday arguing for stricter gun control measures when he heard a loud chortle coming from an audience member.
O’Rourke whipped around and immediately confronted the inappropriately jovial town hall attendee.
“It may be funny to you, motherf—er, but it’s not funny to me,” O’Rourke barked back.
The would-be governor’s potty-mouthed clapback drew loud cheers and applause from the crowd, culminating with a standing ovation.
The unnamed audience member was reportedly standing among a small clique of supporters of Gov. Greg Abbott who were dressed in black and displaying the Republican incumbent’s campaign signs.
Videos of O’Rourke’s salty retort quickly went viral on social media platforms.
After his fiery town hall speech, O’Rourke tweeted: “there was nothing more serious to me than getting justice for the families in Uvalde and stopping this from ever happening again.”
O’Rourke’s response was widely praised by Democrats on Twitter, while a few conservatives slammed him for using foul language.
“@BetoORourke captures the anger and frustration that so many of us feel when people like this heckler and @GovAbbott show no compassion for Uvalde victims and their families,” wrote the Texas state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, a Democrat who represents Uvalde.
Jaime Harrison, chair of the Democratic National Committee, applauded O’Route for “calling it like it is.”
A day after the school shooting on May 24, O’Rourke famously interrupted Abbott and local officials press conference, demanding action on gun control in what was widely perceived as an ill-timed campaign stunt.
“The time to stop the next shooting is right now, and you are doing nothing,” the liberal politician said, before he was escorted out.
The former congressman and 2020 presidential candidate will face off against Abbott at the polls in November.