Transcript for 2020 presidential candidates respond to El Paso shooting
Democratic presidential candidates recording voters in Vegas when they learned about the shooting, including Beto O'rourke who calls El Paso home. ABC's Rachel Scott is in las Vegas with how he and his fellow 2020 contenders are responding to the tragedy. El Paso is the strongest place in the world. Reporter: It was an emotional response from a presidential candidate horrified by yet another mass shooting. This one in the community he calls home. Former congressman Beto O'rourke shifting his focus, turning from making a pitch to voters in las Vegas -- When I was on the city council -- Reporter: -- To comforting families of victims at a hospital in El Paso, joining other candidates in calling out president trump's rhetoric as they push for stricter gun control. He is a racist and he stokes racism in this country. The president of the united States is condoning white nationalism. Reporter: Former vice president Joe Biden also speaking out against gun violence. This is a sickness. This is well beyond anything that we should be tolerating. Reporter: And senator Bernie Sanders taking a moment of silence. To keep those families in mind. Reporter: For victims at his campaign stop. People that are gun owners, they believe in expanded and universal background checks, ending the gun show loophole and also banning, in my view, assault weapons. Reporter: Other democratic candidates weighing in too. Every day we wait, more people are dying all around America, roughly 100 a day. It's too much and it is within our grasp to do something about it. Reporter: A crowded field finding common ground on what they call an urgent issue. It is an emergency. Everybody knows it and now it's up to the American people whether or not we will rise to the occasion. Reporter: All of those presidential candidates here in Las Vegas, a city that unfortunately knows the tragedy of gun violence far too well. The entire democratic field will be invited back here in the fall for a gun control forum as this community marks the second anniversary of the Las Vegas mass shooting. Dan. Rachel Scott in Las Vegas, thank you. Let's bring in ABC's chief white house correspondent Jonathan Karl who's going to be hosting "This week" later this morning. Jon, good morning. Right now we're in the middle of an all too familiar macabre dance that we do as a country after these mass shootings where democratic politicians come out and call for new legislation on guns and then essentially nothing happens. So is there any reason to believe that this time could be different? You know, Dan, I covered day in and day out of the battle after sandy hook and I would never have predicted in the midst of that that congress would end up doing absolutely nothing on this. So it's hard to say that it will change this time, but I've got to tell you there are indications that the political winds on this have changed. If you look at the polling, Dan, just this past may, there was a poll that showed 94% of voters are in favor of universal background checks, 94%. 63% in favor of a ban on assault weapons -- on assault style weapons. So the atmosphere has changed. And one other thing, if you look at the midterm elections -- and this is different. In the midterm elections in 2018, you saw a large number of candidates running explicitly on platforms of strengthening gun laws and winning. Several of the Democrats who are running for president right now are tieing president trump to these mass shootings. Take a listen to what they're saying. Does any of this fall at the feet of president Donald Trump and his rhetoric that's been growing over the last couple weeks and his alleged racist tweets and other rhetoric? Yes. We've had a rise in hate crimes every single one of the last three years during an administration where you have a president who's called Mexicans rapists and criminals. Is it fair, Jon, to tie the president to this violence? Dan, whether or not it's fair, he's going to have to answer those questions. The bottom line is this president has had rhetoric on immigration and on immigrants that has been deeply divisive. This is going to be something that he is going to have to answer for. Something we're going to hear a lot about on the campaign trail, no question about it. Jon Karl, I know you're going to be talking about it a lot this morning. A reminder, Jon has a big show. He's going to go one-on-one with the acting white house chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. That's coming up on "This week" right here on ABC. Jon, thank you again.
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