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'RourkeTed Cruz: Trump's chances of winning reelection are '50-50' The Hill's Campaign Report: Second debate lineups set up high-profile clash Biden, Harris set for second Democratic debate showdown 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 BidenHarris faces pressure to define policy proposals Biden campaign rips 'Medicare for All,' calls on Dems to protect Affordable Care Act Harris voices support for Puerto Rico protesters: 'I stand with them' MORE and Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBullock: I would not have endorsed health care for undocumented immigrants on debate stage Harris faces pressure to define policy proposals Biden campaign rips 'Medicare for All,' calls on Dems to protect Affordable Care Act MORE (I-Vt.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHarris faces pressure to define policy proposals Harris voices support for Puerto Rico protesters: 'I stand with them' Democrats slam Puerto Rico governor over 'shameful' comments, back protesters MORE (D-Mass.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris faces pressure to define policy proposals Harris voices support for Puerto Rico protesters: 'I stand with them' What to expect when Mueller testifies: Not much 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.