Democratic 2020 candidate Pete Buttigieg called out fellow presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke for how he is promoting his anti-gun campaign.
Radically and repeatedly, O’Rourke has said that he supports an across-the-board “assault weapons” ban, including the AR-15 and the AK-47, and mandatory gun buy-backs.
“Hell yes, we are going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” O’Rourke said at the Democratic debate.
During the interview with Buttigieg, CNN host Jake Tapper shared a quote from Democratic Delaware Senator Chris Coons who said O’Rourke’s remark would be replayed for years to come. The host then asked if O’Rourke radical push is “something that’s playing in the hands of Republicans?”
Buttigieg agreed and said O’Rourke was missing a “golden moment” to work across the aisle to enact positive change.
“Look, right now we have an amazing moment on our hands,” Buttigieg answered via the Washington Examiner. “We have agreement among the American people for, not just universal backgrounds checks, but we have a majority in favor of red flag laws, high-capacity magazines, banning the new sale of assault weapons. This is a golden moment to finally do something.”
Buttigieg said the political climate is pushing towards gun reform and conceded that President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “at least are pretending to be open to reforms, we know we have a moment on our hands. Let’s make the most of it and get these things done.”
.@PeteButtigieg calls out @BetoORourke for his comments on gun control. @realDonaldTrump and Mitch McConnell are "at least are pretending to be open to reforms, we know we have a moment on our hands," he said.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) September 16, 2019
The Washington Examiner reports O’Rourke responded to his two Democratic colleagues on Twitter:
O’Rourke hit back at Buttigieg, asking how is it acceptable to leave “millions of weapons of war on the streets because Trump and McConnell are ‘at least pretending to be open to reforms’?”
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O’Rourke responded to Coons on Twitter, saying, “the time for letting status quo politics determine how far we can go is over. If we agree that having millions of weapons of war on the streets is a bad idea, we have to do something about it.”
Leaving millions of weapons of war on the streets because Trump and McConnell are “at least pretending to be open to reforms”?
That calculation and fear is what got us here in the first place. Let’s have the courage to say what we believe and fight for it. https://t.co/SSnFT600Vm
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) September 15, 2019