About the only thing I looked forward to seeing Tuesday night at the fourth Democratic debate was the scrap between Beto O’Rourke and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Beto and Mayor Pete have been needling each other for weeks on the issue of gun control, and specifically O’Rourke’s mandatory gun confiscation plan. Mayor Pete has referred to Beto’s plan as an unattainable “shiny object.” Because of that, O’Rourke has countered that the Mayor, who served in Afghanistan, was “afraid of doing the right thing right now” because he was supposedly more interested in focus groups, consultants, and polls than saving lives.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper, one of last night’s debate moderators, teed up the tense exchange between the two by first asking Beto about how he planned on implementing his plan. After Beto gave a non-committal answer as to what he would do, Cooper then turned to Mayor Pete for his thoughts:
COOPER: Thank you. Mayor Buttigieg, just yesterday, you referred to mandatory buybacks as confiscation and said that Congressman O’Rourke has been picking a fight to try to stay relevant. Your response on guns?
BUTTIGIEG: Look, Congressman, you just made it clear that you don’t know how this is actually going to take weapons off the streets. If you can develop the plan further, I think we can have a debate about it. But we can’t wait. People are dying in the streets right now.
Beto responded by emphatically stating that we can’t wait on gun confiscation, the time is now, and we need to do the right thing, etc. etc. He also added the below comments, which was another swipe at Buttigieg’s courage regarding taking what Democrats would characterize as bold action on gun control:
O’ROURKE: No, let’s decide what we are going to believe in, what we’re going to achieve. And then let’s bring this country together in order to do that. Listening to my fellow Americans, to those moms who demand action, to those students who march for our lives, who, in fact, came up with this extraordinary bold peace plan… that calls for mandatory buybacks, let’s follow their inspiration and lead and not be limited by the polls and the consultants and the focus groups. Let’s do what’s right…”
Buttigieg at long last let him have it:
BUTTIGIEG: The problem isn’t the polls. The problems is the policy. And I don’t need lessons from you on courage, political or personal. Everyone on this stage is determined to get something done. Everyone on this stage recognizes, or at least I thought we did, that the problem is not other Democrats who don’t agree with your particular idea of how to handle this.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg to Beto O'Rourke: "I don't need lessons from you on courage, political or personal." pic.twitter.com/8ofT8EsvdL
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) October 16, 2019
I’ve said before that I’d be content with them both destroying each other at future campaign stops and debates because they are both pompous, sanctimonious hypocrites on a number of fronts, but Beto really did have that coming to him.
— 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. –