Beto O'Rourke

Democratic presidential candidate former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke answers a question Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by ABC at Texas Southern University in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

CNN Prime Time talk show host Chris Cuomo can be super-annoying and narcissistic most of the time, but there are rare moments where he slips up and engages in actual journalism instead of spouting off flawed Democratic talking points.

Such was the case Wednesday night when 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke appeared on Cuomo’s program to discuss his controversial gun control plan and the “Hell yes” remarks he made at last Thursday’s presidential debate.

First, a recap of what O’Rourke said at the debate when asked whether or not he planned to take away people’s guns if elected president:

I am, if it’s a weapon that was designed to kill people on a battlefield. If the high impact, high velocity, when it hits your body, shreds everything inside of your body because it was designed to do that so you would bleed to death on a battlefield and not be able to get up and kill one of our soldiers.
[…]
Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We’re not going to allow it to be used against a fellow Americans anymore.

Cuomo started off the segment last night by noting that President Trump tweeted yesterday that “Dummy” O’Rourke’s extreme position would make a gun control compromise bill harder. Cuomo then asked O’Rourke directly if he was in favor of actual gun confiscation:

CUOMO: All right, so let’s state the proposition. Are you, in fact, in favor of gun confiscation?

O’ROURKE: Yes, when it comes to AR-15s and AK-47s, weapons designed for use on a military battlefield.

The high impact, high-velocity round that is fired from those weapons, when it hits your body, expends all of its kinetic energy, destroying everything that’s inside. And I’ve met those who’ve survived fire from an AK-47. I’ve met those who’ve lost a family member. That belongs on the battlefield, does not belong in this country. So, when it comes to those weapons, Chris, the answer is yes. But when it comes to firearms used for hunting or self-defense, the answer is no.

After Beto admitted he was calling for gun confiscation, he then got testy with Cuomo by telling him not to “fearmonger” that the governnment was coming to take away people’s guns. Cuomo pushed back aggressively:

O’ROURKE: And I don’t want you or anyone else to get into the fear-mongering that some have fallen prey to, saying that the government’s going to come and take all of your guns. What we are talking about exclusively is weapons of war that have no place in our homes…

CUOMO: I hear you.

O’ROURKE: …no place on our streets, and should remain on the battlefield.

CUOMO: I hear you. We’ll talk law first and then politics. It’s not about fear-mongering. You just said it, Beto. You said you’re going to confiscate guns.

I don’t think you can do it legally. The Heller case makes it pretty clear that there’s an individual right to own. And I don’t think we’ve ever seen the U.S. government do a taking of private property like what you’re suggesting. So, I’m not fear-mongering. I’m repeating what you’re saying.

Watch the exchange between O’Rourke and Cuomo below:

Cuomo getting Beto to admit he was advocating for gun confiscation was significant, because the candidate has repeatedly and erroneously called his plan a “buyback” plan, which suggests the government will simply “buy back” your weapon. This is is faulty for two reasons:

1) The weapon was never the government’s to begin with so they wouldn’t be “buying back” anything, and 2) a “buy back” implies that the plan is voluntary. Beto’s plan is not voluntary in any way.

Cuomo also noted during the segment that a number of Democrats had more or less said what Trump did, that Beto had hurt chances for a compromise bill. O’Rourke then threw his fellow Democrats under the bus by suggesting they, too, had been “complicit” in the stalemate over gun control.

Beto’s position on this issue has not moved the needle on his presidential polling numbers. He still lags way behind the top tier.

The next Democratic debate is October 15th in Ohio. It remains to be seen if he will qualify.

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— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –