Charles Orear, 50, a restaurant manager from St. Louis, said in an interview Wednesday that he became friendly with James T. Hodgkinson, whom law enforcement officials identified as the shooter, during their work in Iowa on Sen. Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign. Orear said Hodgkinson was a passionate progressive and showed no signs of violence or malice toward others.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Orear said when told by phone. “I met him on the Bernie trail in Iowa, worked with him in the Quad Cities area.”
Orear described Hodgkinson as a “quiet guy” who was “very mellow, very reserved” when they stayed overnight at a Sanders’s supporter home in Rock Island, Ill., after canvassing for the senator.
“He was this union tradesman, pretty stocky, and we stayed up talking politics,” he said. “He was more on the really progressive side of things.”
The Post reached out to Orear after seeing that he liked one of Hodgkinson’s Facebook posts.
“I have just been informed that the alleged shooter at the Republican baseball practice is someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign,” he said. “I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be. Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms.”
GOP Representatives Ron DeSantis and Jeff Duncan both said a man police identified as Hodgkinson spoke to them just before the shooting and asked whether the people at the baseball practice were Republicans or Democrats.
Meanwhile, Democrats who’ve fostered the climate of hate are scurrying for cover:
We must address the seeming anger of so many Americans with a caring spirit and action for their basic needs. We must heal this Nation.
— Sheila Jackson Lee (@JacksonLeeTX18) June 14, 2017
Yeah, a little late for that.
Meanwhile, here’s for AG Loretta Lynch calling for violent resistance:
FLASHBACK: Loretta Lynch called for marching, blood, and death in the streets to "resist" the Trump Administration. pic.twitter.com/9IBwWqSU6B
— Newt-Trump Fan Club (@NewtTrump) June 14, 2017