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In a tweet, Trump gave O’Rourke a nickname—like he’s done with other 2020 Democrats—calling the former congressman from Texas “Dummy Beto” before blaming him for making any gun reform bill “much harder.”
The president appears to be referring to O’Rourke saying “hell yes” when asked about taking assault weapons as part of a buyback program he’s pushing as a presidential candidate.
“Dummy Beto made it much harder to make a deal. Convinced many that Dems just want to take your guns away. Will continue forward!” Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning.
Dummy Beto made it much harder to make a deal. Convinced many that Dems just want to take your guns away. Will continue forward! https://t.co/87jvaYUkyn— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 18, 2019
O’Rourke responded to Trump’s tweet:
“To be clear: We will buy back every single assault weapon,” O’Rourke tweeted. “We‘ll also license every gun & do a background check on every buyer. That’s what the American people want—and deserve. The only thing stopping us from ending this epidemic is you & your cowardice. Do the right thing.”
To be clear: We will buy back every single assault weapon.— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) September 18, 2019
We‘ll also license every gun & do a background check on every buyer. That’s what the American people want—and deserve.
The only thing stopping us from ending this epidemic is you & your cowardice. Do the right thing. https://t.co/lPqAv1r9ij
The House of Representatives passed a bill that would expand background checks on gun purchases in February, but the Senate has yet to take it up. Reuters reports that Trump has talked with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) recently, but has not made any commitments about the bill that passed in the House.
Despite the fact there are proposals being floated, Americans aren’t convinced anything is going to get done.
A USA Today and Suffolk University poll released earlier this month found that less than a quarter of Americans think Congress will be able to pass a gun reform bill within the next year.
O’Rourke’s call for buybacks isn’t what is affecting the current debate. Trump has pledged to work on gun reform before, most notably in the wake of the Parkland shooting, when O’Rourke wasn’t even a national figure, and gave in then.
Trump also walked back promises to work on gun reform after the El Paso shooting once already. That too came before O’Rourke began his calls for buybacks.
Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).