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Buttigieg says O'Rourke is playing into GOP hands with comments about mandatory gun buybacks
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said on Sunday that he agrees with critics that fellow 2020 White House hopeful Beto O'Rourke played into the Republican Party's hands with his comments about a mandatory gun buyback proposal.
CNN's Jake Tapper asked Buttigieg Sunday on "State of the Union" if he thinks the former Texas congressman played into the hands of the GOP when he said at Thursday's primary debate, "hell yes we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47."
"Yes," Buttigieg responded.
"Look, right now we have an amazing moment in our hands," he added.
Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., said the majority of Americans have shown support for universal background checks, so-called "red flag" laws and a ban on the new sale of assault weapons.
"This is a golden moment to do something, we've been arguing about this for as long as I've beeb alive" he said.
"Let's get this done," he added.
O'Rourke had previously advocated for a less-progressive gun reform policy, not pushing for a mandatory buyback program. He switched his position after a mass shooting at a Walmart in his hometown of El Paso, Texas killed 22 people.
Although critics have said his position is too extreme, O'Rourke said he found "common ground" when he spoke with gun owners at a gun show in Arkansas.
Buttigieg on Sunday also did not use the interview to hit Vice President Joe Biden over his mental capability, as some of his 2020 opponents have tried.
Tapper asked Buttigieg if he shares any of the concerns Democrats have raised over the front-runner's mental state.
"I trust voters to figure that out," Buttigieg responded.
"As the youngest candidate in the field I'm obviously a believer in generational change," he said, adding that is not necessarily tied to a candidate's age.
His concern with Biden's approach to the race, he said, is "promising we'll go back to normal."
Biden has tied his campaign to the eight years he spent serving in the Obama administration.
Buttigieg said many voters in the industrial Midwest, that he represents, voted for President Trump because they are looking for a change.