Former President Trump shared his condolences for the victims and their families of a recent school shooting in Iowa during a campaign stop in the Hawkeye State on Friday, but then urged his supporters to “move forward.”
“I want to send our support and deepest condolences to the victims and families affected by the terrible school shooting in Perry, Iowa,” Trump said during a campaign rally in Sioux City.
“It’s just horrible, very surprising to see it here,” he added. “But we have to get over it, we have to move on.”
His somewhat harsh rhetoric comes after a gunman entered Perry High School Thursday morning, the first day back from winter break, with a shotgun and a handgun. He shot and killed a studentand left several more people injured, including the directorauthorities confirmed.
The suspect, Dylan Butler, 17, then shot and killed himself when law enforcement responded, police said. They did not comment on whether they found any potential motive.
The shooting occurred just miles from where Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, considered Trump’s closest ally in the race, was scheduled to hold an event the same day. The businessman’s campaign canceled the event and instead held a private prayer.
Ramaswamy foretold Politicians would respond to the incident with calls for gun control, criticizing them for what he claims are “knee-jerk political reactions.” Instead, the Republican candidate said the legislation should focus on mental health.
“The temptation is to just pass some law and paper and so on and say we did something in response to this,” he said. “Mark my words: Tomorrow, if not later today, you will hear calls saying, ‘Stop the guns, that’s the problem,’ sweeping under the rug this true ailment at the heart and soul of our nation and our culture. which has spread to the entire next generation and the family unit. The loss of purpose.”
Her rival Nikki Haley, a former UN ambassador who has gained momentum in the polls, gave a similar argument.
“We have to deal with the cancer that is mental health. We have to do it,” Haley told voters at a CNN town hall in Des Moines on Thursday night, later adding: “What we see is that 80 percent of mass shooters are in some type of crisis.” the moment they do it.”
“We have to do better. The problem is that we don’t have enough mental health therapists,” he stated.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has focused heavily on his presidential campaign in Iowa, expressed his support for Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R), who endorsed it by 2024, and local authorities after the shooting. He too said focus It should be about mental health.
His comments come as the Iowa caucuses, which will kick off the primary voting season for the 2024 Republican primaries, take place in just over a week. Candidates have been in the state this week vying for support ahead of the Jan. 15 caucuses.
Trump remains the clear favorite in the race, with 51.6 percent support, according to Iowa polling averages from The Hill/Decision Desk HQ. DeSantis is second with 18 percent, while Haley is close behind with 17.1 percent.
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