Swalwell Rejects ‘Thoughts and Prayers’ After Deadly Shooting at Synagogue

Eric Swalwell
Eric Swalwell / Getty Images

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D., Calif.) on Saturday responded to President Donald Trump's tweet wishing "thoughts and prayers" to those affected by the shooting at the California synagogue by saying, "Spare us your thoughts and prayers."

Earlier Saturday, a 19-year-old man opened fire inside a synagogue in Poway, Calif., which is near San Diego. The gunman, identified as John Earnest, targeted the synagogue on the last day of Passover, killing a woman and wounding the rabbi and two others, according to the Associated Press.

"Thoughts and prayers to all of those affected by the shooting at the Synagogue in Poway, California. God bless you all. Suspect apprehended. Law enforcement did outstanding job. Thank you!" Trump tweeted.

Swalwell, who is running for president on the platform of gun control, quote-tweeted Trump saying, "Spare us your thoughts and prayers. It’s an alibi for inaction. You told the NRA yesterday you’d keep dangerous guns in the hands of dangerous people. We will take it from here with action."

While Swalwell has been publicly opposed to the phrase "thoughts and prayers" after recent shootings, he has used the phrase on Twitter multiple times following past shootings, including the Chattanooga shooting  at military centers in 2015 and the Orlando nightclub shooting in 2016.

Swalwell isn't the only House Democrat who has voiced opposition to "thoughts and prayers." Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) responded to the shootings at two New Zealand mosques last month by saying, "What good are your thoughts & prayers when they don’t even keep the pews safe?"

"‘Thoughts and prayers' is reference to the NRA’s phrase used to deflect conversation away from policy change during tragedies. Not directed to PM Ardern, who I greatly admire," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

Ocasio-Cortez has encouraged offering both thoughts and prayers in the past.