After announcing his bid for Texas governor last week, Democrat Robert “Beto” Francis O’Rourke told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday that he supports government confiscation of private citizens’ legally obtained firearms.
Bash asked O’Rourke about his previous campaign promise from 2019 when he vowed on the Democratic debate stage, “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.”
“Is that what you would still do as governor of Texas?” Bash asked, to which he replied, “I still hold that view.”
On #CNNSOTU this morning @BetoORourke said he not only still supports a government confiscation of legally obtained firearms from private citizens, but also confirms that’s what he would do if elected governor of Texas. pic.twitter.com/EOWSWnDs80
— Joanna Rodriguez (@joannamrod) November 21, 2021
“Look, we are a state that has a long, proud tradition of responsible gun ownership. And most of us here in Texas do not want to see our friends, our family members, our neighbors shot up with these weapons of war. So yes, I still hold this view,” O’Rourke said.
O’Rourke likely faces off against incumbent Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who signed a “constitutional carry” law this summer allowing Texans age 21 and older to carry handguns in public without a license – a constitutionally protected right that O’Rourke labeled “extremism.”
“We don’t want extremism in our gun laws. We want to protect the Second Amendment, we want to protect the lives of our fellow Texans. And I know that when we come together and stop this divisive extremism that we see from Greg Abbott right now, we’re going to be able to do that,” he said on CNN.
Throughout his Sunday interview on CNN, O’Rourke repeatedly attempted to distance himself from President Joe Biden, who Bash noted has an approval rating of 35 percent in Texas.
“This campaign in Texas is not going to be about Joe Biden,” O’Rourke said. “It’s not going to be about anyone from outside of our state.”