Trump slams 'very dumb' O'Rourke for proposals on guns, tax exempt status for churches

President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Milley warns of 'Sputnik moment' for China WSJ publishes letter from Trump continuing to allege voter fraud in PA Oath Keeper who was at Capitol on Jan. 6 runs for New Jersey State Assembly MORE on Thursday ripped Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeSupport for governors sliding in states without vaccine mandates: survey Abbott bans vaccine mandates from any 'entity in Texas' Abbott disapproval rating up 8 points to 59 percent in San Antonio area: poll MORE over guns and religious liberty during a campaign rally in his home state of Texas.

Trump hammered the former congressman over his recent proposals to confiscate certain types of firearms and suggestion that churches lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose gay marriage.

"Last week a very dumb Democrat candidate for president pledged to revoke the tax-exempt status of many churches and religious charities," Trump said during a rally at American Airlines Arena in Dallas.

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"That was after, a few weeks ago, he said, 'Excuse me we’re going to take your guns away,'" Trump continued before mocking O'Rourke's arm gestures. "And I called him right. Remember the flailing arms? Nobody noticed it. I noticed it. The flailer."

"Beto, in a few short weeks, got rid of guns then got rid of religion," Trump added. "Those are not two good things in Texas to get rid of."

The president suggested that O'Rourke's chances of running a successful Senate campaign against Sen. John CornynJohn CornynSenators urge Biden to waive sanctions on India over Russian defense system purchase Bipartisan lawmakers target judges' stock trading with new bill Cornyn raises more than M for Senate GOP MORE (R-Texas) would be doomed by his performance on the presidential campaign trail.

O'Rourke, who ran an unsuccessful Senate campaign last year against Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFlake, Cindy McCain among latest Biden ambassadors confirmed after delay Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised The Senate confirmation process is broken — Senate Democrats can fix it MORE (R-Texas), has said he does not plan to run against Cornyn even if he drops out of the presidential race.

"He's at 0 [percent] right now," Trump said, mocking O'Rourke's standing in the crowded Democratic primary race.

"No religion and no guns. I think that's no good," Trump continued. "I think he's pretty light on oil production, too."

Trump added: "Nobody's going to be able to beat John Cornyn."

O'Rourke, who served three terms as a congressman representing his native El Paso, has made gun control a central part of his campaign following a mass shooting in El Paso over the summer.

He has proposed a mandatory buyback program of assault weapons, though some Democrats have warned that the proposal could turn off voters worried about government overreach. Under O'Rourke's plan an individual who did not hand over a banned weapon would be fined.

The former Texas congressman also drew blowback from his fellow presidential candidates last week when during an LGBT forum he said he thought that religious institutions that refuse to perform same-sex marriages should lose their tax-exempt status.