Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has been criticised after his re-election campaign team posted a photo of gravestones bearing the names of various Democrats and their policies – hours after the deadly mass shooting in El Paso on Saturday.
Alongside a picture of a grinning Senator McConnell, the tweet shows a tombstone reading “RIP Amy McGrath, November 3rd 2020”, who is running to unseat him in the Kentucky senate race.
The other gravestones include socialism, the Green New Deal and Merrick Garland, a Democratic Supreme Court nominee who Mr McConnell refused to bring to the Senate floor for a vote in 2016.
The tweet was posted on Saturday evening, just hours after the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, that has so far left 22 people dead.
Democrat Amy McGrath has responded to the post, saying: “Hours after the El Paso shooting, Mitch McConnell proudly tweeted this photo. I find it so troubling that our politics have become so nasty and personal that the Senate Majority Leader thinks it’s appropriate to use imagery of the death of a political opponent (me) as messaging.”
Ms McGrath then added: “It’s symptomatic of what is wrong with our system. I’m fine with the ordinary rough and tumble of politics, but this strikes me as beyond the pale.”
Mr McConnell previously spoke out against violent political rhetoric, slamming Democrats for engaging in “toxic behaviour” leading up to the 2018 midterm elections.
Patrick Crusius, the suspected shooter in the El Paso attack, is believed to have posted a four-page message online calling the Walmart attack “a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas”.
The repeated use of the word “invasion” was one of many rhetorical devices in common with President Trump’s stance on the issue of immigration, which Mr McConnell has amplified in his role as Senate Majority Leader.
Senator McConnell’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.