Photos taken at a Friday night fundraiser for IL State Sen. Martin Sandoval, a Democrat, who represents Illinois’ 11th District, went viral on social media over the weekend. The pictures, which appear in the tweet below, show a supporter pointing a fake machine gun at a man dressed in Mexican garb and wearing a Trump mask, who then pretends to be shot, “grabbing his chest and leaning back.”
A political fundraiser for @SenatorSandoval simulates an assassination attempt against a mock @realDonaldTrump decked out in Mexican garb. Looks like a man pointed a fake assault weapon at the fake President to pose for a picture. pic.twitter.com/MlT9zjB1mn
— Mark Maxwell (@MarkMaxwellTV) August 17, 2019
According to WCIA 3, a local station, Sandoval issued an apology on Sunday saying that, “I don’t condone violence toward the President or anyone else. I apologize that something like this happened at my event.”
Sandoval appears in one photo standing next to the man who had held the gun. It’s not clear whether or not Sandoval had seen the mock assassination. Either way, he has called the incident “unacceptable.”
State Democratic leaders condemned the action. Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker released a statement on Saturday night in which he said, “As our nation grapples with the epidemic of gun violence, purposely pointing a fake gun at anyone is insensitive and wrong. I condemn actions like the ones displayed in the pictures because they lack the civility our politics demand.”
A spokesperson for the Democratic Party of Illinois, Maura Possley, said, “The tragedies in El Paso and Gilroy have demonstrated how hate-filled political rhetoric can fuel violence. These images are unacceptable and dangerous. The place to make our voices heard against Trump is at the ballot box.”
The local Democrats said all the right words, yet episodes like this happen all the time. Talk of violence or simulated acts of violence directed at the President seem to be perfectly acceptable by many on the left. Think Madonna, Johnny Depp, Kathy Griffin and many others. Even Joe Biden told supporters recently that if the two were in high school, “I’d beat the hell out of him.” Robert DeNiro said he would like to punch him in the face. And we’ve all seen one or two of the numerous paintings which portray Trump covered in blood.
Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider issued a statement as well:
The apology from Sen. Sandoval for the detestable pictures from his event depicting an assassination of President Trump is too little, too late. Dangerous imagery like this will be condemned and seen as inappropriate by people of sound mind; however, a mentally unstable individual who wants to harm President Trump might find them as an inspiration. It’s inexcusable for an elected official to allow the promotion of violence in any way. If the individual pictured is a staffer or volunteer, they should be terminated immediately.
The double standard rears its ugly head again. Does anyone remember the uproar which ensued in August of 2013 after a rodeo clown at the Missouri State Fair mocked then-President Obama?
During the bull riding competition, a clown put on an Obama mask and attached a broom to his backside. CNN reported:
Rodeo announcer Mark Ficken, president of the Missouri Cowboy Rodeo Association and a school superintendent, announced a special guest: “President Obama.”
Another voice is heard over the loudspeaker working up the crowd and saying, “We’re going to stomp Obama now.”
“As soon as this bull comes out, Obama, don’t you move,” the second voice said. “He’s going to getcha, getcha getcha, getcha.”
I won’t bore you with the details, let’s just say the backlash reached epic proportions.
Rodeo clown who mocked Obama banned from Missouri State Fair: http://t.co/6MY3byoikd -CC
— The Associated Press (@AP) August 12, 2013