Ohio senator who got $3 million from NRA scrambles to blame 'mental health' at mass shooting presser
Rob Portman appears at a press conference in Dayton, Ohio (CNN/screen grab)

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) talked about suicide rates and opioids following Sunday's mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio.


At a Sunday press conference in Dayton, Portman reacted to the shooting that left nine dead at a nightclub.

"Shocking. Shocking. Unspeakable. Tragic," Portman told reporters. "We also have seen this community respond, as they will for the victims, for the mothers and fathers and sons and daughters who were struck down last night and those who were injured. We’ve seen it here in this community just since May with the KKK rally. We’ve seen it as this community came together after the devastating hurricanes, which is still an ongoing project."

"But I will say there’s something deeper going on here," Portman continued. "And if you look at the suicide rates, if you look at the addiction rates, this community has done a good job in responding to it, but it’s been at ground zero in terms opioid crisis as well."

Portman wrongly suggested that "mental health," not guns, are the culprit in 75 percent of mass shootings.

"If you look at the mental health crisis in our country today, there aren’t enough laws, and in fact no law can correct some of the more fundamental cultural problems we face today as a country," he said.

In a subsequent answer, the Ohio senator repeated his warning about opioids and suicide rates.

"You know, people have talked about the depths of despair and talk about the suicide rates and addiction rates and talk about the mental health issues that are causing some of these," he asserted. "In almost every one of these cases, there is, as you look back on it, some indication of a mental health problem."

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Portman has received more than $3 million from the National Rifle Association (NRA), which vigorously fights gun legislation.

Watch the video below from CNN.