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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump reversed course on flavored e-cigarette ban over fear of job losses: report Trump to award National Medal of Arts to actor Jon Voight Sondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report MORE on Thursday ripped Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeDeval Patrick enters 2020 race O'Rourke says he 'absolutely' plans to stay in politics Krystal Ball: Buttigieg is 'the boomer candidate' 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 CornynImpeachment hearings don't move needle with Senate GOP GOP divided over impeachment trial strategy GOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial 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 CruzOvernight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators at White House Senators confirm Erdoğan played 'propaganda' video in White House meeting 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.