The National Rifle Association (NRA) on Thursday tweeted out a picture of 2020 hopeful Beto O’Rourke calling him the “AR-15 salesman of the month,” a nod to the former congressman’s plan to buy back assault rifles if elected president.
Last week, during the third 2020 Democratic Presidential Debate, O’Rourke said: “Hell yes, we are going to take your AR-15” when asked about his gun reform proposals, a line that led to his campaign selling T-shirts.
Part of his gun reform proposals includes a buyback program for banned weapons.
The NRA clearly is not a fan of O’Rourke’s ideas, even if it may inspire their supporters. An Arizona gun store offering a “Beto Special” on AR-15s sold out of the gun the same day.
On Thursday, the organization tweeted out a branded image of O’Rourke smiling with “AR-15 salesman of the month” written next to him.
In the tweet, the NRA added: “Possibly even of the year…”
Possibly even of the year… pic.twitter.com/ESnA4Qur93— NRA (@NRA) September 19, 2019
The tweet on Thursday comes as O’Rourke and the NRA have had an escalating war of words.
On Wednesday, the NRA tweeted out a link to a petition where they said they will “NEVER turn in our AR-15s.” The petition asks people to sign up to tell O’Rourke that he will “never, ever take away our firearms.”
“Today, the @NRA sent out a petition calling on supporters to “tell Beto no” to a mandatory buyback program. But the @NRA doesn’t represent the American people—and today, we can prove it. Sign our petition calling for a buyback of every AR-15,” the former Texas congressman tweeted, adding a link to his own petition.
Today, the @NRA sent out a petition calling on supporters to "tell Beto no" to a mandatory buyback program. But the @NRA doesn't represent the American people—and today, we can prove it. Sign our petition calling for a buyback of every AR-15: https://t.co/kn9JE70h8F https://t.co/L22OiTvKFh— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) September 18, 2019
The NRA isn’t the only one who has pushed back at O’Rourke’s remarks.
President Donald Trump tried on Wednesday to blame the former congressman’s remarks for making it “much harder” to agree on some form of gun reform. In his tweet, he called O’Rourke “Dummy Beto.”
Immediately following O’Rourke’s remarks at the debate, a Texas state congressman tweeted at O’Rourke telling him that his “AR is ready for you Robert Francis,” using the former congressman’s legal name.