Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) spoke out Sunday about the El Paso, Texas, shooting in which the suspected gunman ― a 21-year-old white man who may have shared a white supremacist manifesto online before the attack ― killed at least 22 people at a Walmart, injuring about two dozen more.
“As the son of a Cuban immigrant, I am deeply horrified by the hateful anti-Hispanic bigotry expressed in the shooter’s so-called ‘manifesto,’” Cruz tweeted. “This ignorant racism is repulsive and profoundly anti-American.”
The senator then called Saturday’s violence “a heinous act of terrorism and white supremacy,” calling on the nation to “speak clearly to combat evil in any form it takes.”
Cruz’s statement ― unlike those of several Democratic presidential candidates ― made no reference to racist and xenophobic remarks routinely made by President Donald Trump, which have been widely condemned on the left while the GOP has remained overwhelmingly silent.
Federal authorities are treating Saturday’s shooting as an act of domestic terrorism and said the suspect may face hate crime charges. They are investigating a manifesto posted online shortly before the attack, which may have been written by the gunman. It decries a “Hispanic invasion of Texas,” labeling immigrants as “instigators” and warning against “race-mixing.”
“I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion,” the four-page screed reads.
In an ABC News interview Saturday, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), an El Paso native who launched an unsuccessful bid for Cruz’s seat in 2018 and is now running for president, condemned Trump as a “racist” who “stokes racism in this country,” linking his rhetoric to the violence.
On Sunday, O’Rourke told CNN, “We’ve got to acknowledge the hatred, the open racism that we’re seeing.” Read more