CNN’s Chris Cuomo wasn’t letting Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke off the hook so easily during an interview on his Tuesday “Prime Time” segment.
During last week’s Democratic primary debate, O’Rourke’s made the following headline-grabbing statement: “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.”
Not surprisingly that angered America’s pro-gun community. An Arizona gun store offered “Beto Specials” in response and sold out of AR-15s and AK-47s in a few hours. And even Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) criticized O’Rourke, saying the former congressman won’t be taking any of his guns away.
What happened between O’Rourke and Cuomo?
Which brings us to Cuomo’s interview with O’Rourke, which the CNN host prefaced with a video of O’Rourke’s “hell yes” declaration. He then asked O’Rourke, “Are you, in fact, in favor of gun confiscation?”
O’Rourke replied, “Yes, when it comes to AR-15s and AK-47s, weapons designed for use on a military battlefield.”
O’Rourke then said he’s not in favor of confiscating “firearms used for hunting and self-defense” before adding that “I don’t want you or anyone else to get into the fearmongering that some have fallen prey to, saying that the government’s gonna come and take all of your guns. What we are talking about exclusively is weapons of war that have no place in our homes, no place on our streets, and should remain on the battlefield.”
‘It’s not about fearmongering. You just said it, Beto’
Then Cuomo hit back: “It’s not about fearmongering. You just said it, Beto. You said you’re gonna confiscate guns. I don’t think you can do it, legally … I don’t think we’ve ever seen a U.S. government do a taking of private property like what you’re suggesting. So I’m not fearmongering. I’m repeating what you’re saying.”
In response, O’Rourke brought up late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, calling him “not the most liberal Justice” — and saying “even he found that there is no absolute guarantee under the Second Amendment and that the government does have a power to regulate those kinds of weapons that are extraordinarily unusual or deadly.”
But Cuomo pushed back again, saying that while he agrees with O’Rourke politically, he reminded O’Rourke that Scalia said “weapons in common usage get the protection of an individual right. The AR-15 … is the most commonly owned in the country.”
O’Rourke argued back that he’s “willing to fight that one all the way to the end, because it is not common, it is unusual” and not even owners of AR-15s and AK-47s “think that what is happening right now is OK.”