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Former Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke has apparently done a complete 180-degree turn from at least one of his key stances on the 2020 campaign trail.
During the Democratic primary, O’Rourke famously shouted from the debate stage, “Hell yes, I’m going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.” And his passion on that specific issue was the reason that – at the rally where O’Rourke dropped out of the primary and endorsed President Joe Biden’s campaign — then-candidate Biden said that he’d be bringing O’Rourke along to help his administration with a gun control strategy.
O’Rourke doubled down, saying that he still stood by that comment as recently as November of 2021.
Beto O'Rourke stands by infamous pledge to 'take' guns from Americans if elected Texas governorhttps://t.co/MwUsCiIufb
— Fox News (@FoxNews) November 21, 2021
“I still hold this view,” O’Rourke said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” adding, “Look, we are a state that has a long, proud tradition of responsible gun ownership. And most of us here in Texas do not want to see our friends, our family members, our neighbors shot up with these weapons of war. So yes, I still hold this view.”
Congressman Lance Gooden (R-TX) called O’Rourke out at the time, tweeting, “Today, Beto O’Rourke stood by his pledge to CONFISCATE guns from law-abiding Americans. How many elections does Beto have to lose until he realizes voters HATE his anti-2nd Amendment agenda?”
Today, Beto O'Rourke stood by his pledge to CONFISCATE guns from law-abiding Americans.
How many elections does Beto have to lose until he realizes voters HATE his anti-2nd Amendment agenda?
— Lance Gooden (@Lancegooden) November 22, 2021
— Patrick Svitek (@PatrickSvitek) February 9, 2022
During a Tuesday campaign stop in Tyler, Texas, the former Texas Congressman took a question from reporters about his stance on guns, and he appeared to execute a complete reversal.
“I’m not interested in taking anything from anyone. What I want to make sure that we do is defend the Second Amendment. I want to make sure that we protect our fellow Texans far better than we’re doing right now,” O’Rourke said. “And that we listen to law enforcement, which Greg Abbott refused to do. He turned his back on them when he signed that permitless carry bill that endangers the lives of law enforcement in a state that’s seen more cops and sheriff’s deputies gunned down than in any other.”
Not everyone appears to be convinced of the former presidential candidate’s sudden and dramatic change of heart, however. National Review editor Ramesh Ponnuru suggested that the move was political, tweeting, “Beto O’Rourke is running away from his position on guns like it was a car crash.”
If O’Rourke is successful in his bid to unseat incumbent Governor Greg Abbott, he will be the first Democrat to win a gubernatorial race in Texas since 1995, after former Governor Ann Richards lost the 1994 election to George W. Bush, who would go on to become president.
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