O'Rourke tells immigrants 'this country was founded on white supremacy'

O'Rourke tells immigrants 'this country was founded on white supremacy'
© Greg Nash

Former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeBeto O'Rourke calls Texas GOP 'a death cult' over coronavirus response Hegar, West to face off in bitter Texas Senate runoff Bellwether counties show trouble for Trump MORE (D-Texas) this week told a group of immigrants and refugees living in Nashville, Tenn., that the U.S. was founded on the concepts of white supremacy and slavery.

During a roundtable event hosted by a local organization that works with immigrants, the presidential candidate pointed to his home state's history in the Confederacy while arguing that the legacy of racism persists in U.S. institutions.

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"I know this from my home state, Texas, places that formed the Confederacy, that this country was founded on white supremacy," he said, according to the Tennessean. "And every single institution and structure that we have in this country still reflects the legacy of slavery and segregation and Jim Crow and suppression, even in our democracy."

He made the remarks in response to a question about how he would tackle white supremacy if elected president.

O'Rourke in recent weeks has attempted to reboot his 2020 presidential campaign after his initial success in fundraising and the polls was overshadowed by front-runners like former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenMark Kelly clinches Democratic Senate nod in Arizona Hillicon Valley: NSA warns of new security threats | Teen accused of Twitter hack pleads not guilty | Experts warn of mail-in voting misinformation Biden offers well wishes to Lebanon after deadly explosion MORE and Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersLongtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary Hillicon Valley: NSA warns of new security threats | Teen accused of Twitter hack pleads not guilty | Experts warn of mail-in voting misinformation Schiff, Khanna call for free masks for all Americans in coronavirus aid package MORE (I-Vt.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenTrump says government to review 5M Kodak loan deal Michelle Obama supporters urge Biden to pick former first lady as running mate On The Money: Unemployment debate sparks GOP divisions | Pandemic reveals flaws of unemployment insurance programs | Survey finds nearly one-third of rehired workers laid off again MORE (D-Mass.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisCuba spells trouble for Bass's VP hopes Biden should pick the best person for the job — not the best woman Trump adviser Jason Miller: Biden running mate pick 'his political living will' MORE (D-Calif.).

During a May interview on ABC's "The View," O'Rourke appeared regretful over some aspects of his campaign launch, which featured an interview with Vanity Fair in which he said he was "born" to run despite saying throughout 2018 that he would not run for president in 2020.