Dean Phillips deletes tweet comparing Beto O’Rourke to Tiananmen Square protester

Phillips' tweet featured a picture of the young man from the 1989 protests that were brutally repressed by China's communist government.

Beto O'Rourke disrupts Gov. Greg Abbott's press conference Wednesday. (Luz Moreno-Lozano/Twitter)

Rep. Dean Phillips posted and deleted a tweet comparing Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke to the Tiananmen Square protester who famously blocked the path of four tanks in Beijing, China.

Phillips’ tweet featured a picture of the young man from the 1989 protests that were brutally repressed by China’s communist government. Alongside that was a photograph of O’Rourke interrupting Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at a Wednesday press conference.

Gov. Abbott was updating the public with the latest details on the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. 19 children and two adults have been confirmed dead as of Thursday.

“Speaking truth to power!” Phillips’ caption read.

However, presumably after widespread backlash, he later deleted the tweet, according to Fox News.

Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat, is running for governor of Texas against the Republican incumbent Abbott. He accused Abbott of “doing nothing” to prevent the “next shooting,” adding that the Uvalde elementary school shooting was “totally predictable.”

“This is on you, until you choose to do something different. This will continue to happen. Somebody needs to stand up for the children of this state, or they will continue to be killed, just like they were killed in Uvalde yesterday,” he told Abbott as he was being escorted out of the press conference.

Although he deleted his tweet comparing O’Rourke’s actions to those of the famous Tiananmen Square protester, Rep. Phillips has continued to react to the deadly Uvalde shooting.

“I’m a gun owner. Do not tell me our Founders conceived of this carnage when they wrote the Constitution. Do not tell me they would have tolerated this madness. Do not tell me that teachers must be armed. And do not tell me your AR15 is worth more than another 14 children’s lives,” the progressive Democrat wrote in a Tuesday tweet.

“We all know there are 1,000s of aggrieved young men in possession of legally obtained AR-style rifles, ammunition, and body armor — and ready to snap. We know the next massacre is probably just days or weeks away. So let’s put our heads together and at least try to save lives,” he added Thursday morning.


Evan Stambaugh

Evan Stambaugh is a freelance writer who had previously been a sports blogger. He has a BA in theology and an MA in philosophy.