South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg got into a testy exchange with former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke Tuesday during the Democratic presidential debate.
The exchange came after O’Rourke criticized Buttigieg for not supporting his mandatory buyback program for certain types of firearms, implying that the mayor lacked the political courage to do so. (RELATED: Beto Tears Into ‘Punitive’ Warren At Democratic Debate)
“The problem isn’t the polls, the problems is the policy,” Buttigieg said. “I don’t need lessons from you on courage political or personal. The problem is not other Democrats who don’t agree with your particular idea of how to handle this.”
O’Rourke responded by accusing Buttigieg of mischaracterizing his position. (RELATED: Beto O’Rourke Confirms He’d Also Tax Mosques, Black Churches)
“That’s a mischaracterization. Anderson, I’ve got to answer this,” O’Rourke said. “I don’t care what that meant to me or my candidacy, but to those who have survived gun violence, those who have lost what loved one to an A.R.-15, or an A.K.-47, marched for our lives, formed in the courage of students willing to stand up to the NRA and conventional politician and poll-tested politicians, that was a slap in the fact to every one of those groups and every survivor of a mass casualty assault.”
“We must buy them back,” he concluded.
O’Rourke has made his gun confiscation proposal the cornerstone of his long-shot presidential campaign following an August mass shooting that resulted in the deaths of 22 people in O’Rourke’s home city of El Paso, Texas.