Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke says he raised record .2M since launching campaign for Texas governor Eleven interesting races to watch in 2022 Cruz bullish on his 2024 chances: 'The runner-up is almost always the next nominee' MORE snapped back at fellow 2020 White House hopeful Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks, Senate balks Airlines suspend US flights in response to 5G deployment AT&T, Verizon to delay 5G rollout near certain airports MORE on Sunday after Buttigieg said the former Texas congressman played into the Republican Party's hands when he said "Hell yes we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47" during the last debate.
O'Rourke retweeted a Washington Examiner article describing Buttigieg's comments from earlier in the day, writing, "That calculation and fear is what got us here in the first place."
Leaving millions of weapons of war on the streets because Trump and McConnell are “at least pretending to be open to reforms”?— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) September 15, 2019
That calculation and fear is what got us here in the first place. Let’s have the courage to say what we believe and fight for it. https://t.co/SSnFT600Vm
On CNN's "State of the Union," Buttigieg agreed when host Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperMcCaul says US withdrawal from Afghanistan has emboldened Russia on Ukraine Sunday shows - Voting rights legislation dominates Texas Republican: FBI probe into synagogue hostage taker spreads to London, Tel Aviv MORE asked if O'Rourke played into the GOP's hands with his support of a required buyback of assault rifles.
"When even this president and even Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden: A good coach knows when to change up the team McConnell says he made 'inadvertent omission' in voting remarks amid backlash These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 MORE are at least pretending to be open to reforms, we know that we have a moment on our hands," Buttigieg said. "Let's make the most of it and get these things done."
During last Thursday night's debate, O'Rourke pushed for a mandatory buyback program more than a month after his hometown of El Paso, Texas experienced a mass shooting that killed 22 people.
"Hell yes we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47," he said. "We're not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore."
Opponents have argued O'Rourke's new stance is too aggressive to gain the support of gun owners, although the former congressman said he hit "common ground" in discussions with gun owners in Arkansas.