- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 14, 2019

Conservative commentator Tomi Lahren apologized for remarks she made Friday about gun ownership and immigration after being slammed on Twitter by Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro.

Ms. Lahren had come under fire from critics including Mr. Castro, the former head of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama, after stating during a Fox Business Network interview that Americans will be “armed and ready” if Democrats succeed at opening up the southern border.

“And all the things the Democrats want to put in place — my goodness, if they want to open our borders, you better be sure the people in Texas, the people in South Dakota, the people in the middle of this country, we are going to be armed and ready, because we have to have a means to defend ourselves from — who knows who’s coming in? That’s the thing, we don’t know, and we have to be able to protect ourselves,” Ms. Lahren said during the interview Friday morning.

“Disgusting, anti-immigrant rhetoric from @TomiLahren in the wake of El Paso,” Mr. Castro tweeted about the interview afterward, referring to the Texas city near the Mexican border where 22 people were killed last month during a mass shooting waged at a local Walmart store.

The Associated Press previously reported that the suspected Walmart shooter confessed to authorities upon being arrested following the rampage and stated that he had purposely targeted Mexicans. Police have said that the suspect, Patrick Crusius, is believed to have uploaded a racist manifesto to the internet moments before the massacre in which he described the attack as a response to a “Hispanic invasion.”

Ms. Lahren, 27, apologized on Twitter for what she said in the interview a few hours later Friday, 10 minutes after being called out by Mr. Castro.

“Not what I meant & I apologize for the way it came out. I simply mean without a secure border we don’t know who is coming into our nation & those who wish to do us harm will exploit it. I’m NOT advocating for violence against any person, regardless of race or immigration status,” tweeted Ms. Lahren.

Virtually all candidates seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, including Mr. Castro, have spoken in support of enacting stricter gun control laws.

The host of “No Interruption” on Fox Nation, Ms. Lahren has frequently advocated in support of the Second Amendment right to bear arms. She even recently launched a clothing line, “Freedom,” that she advertised as being for women “who love God, Guns and Country and are proud to show it.”

She has since acknowledged that apparel sold as part of the clothing line, called “Freedom,” is not made in America, however.

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