South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg told former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-TX) that on the issue on the confiscation of AR-15s, he does not need a lesson on personal or political courage from him.
O'Rourke once again attacked Buttigieg at the Democratic presidential debate in Ohio for not supporting mandatory buybacks of AR-15s and other similar types of rifles.
O'Rourke said it's time to follow groups, such as March For Our Lives, "and lead and not be limited by the polls and consultants and focus groups."
"The problem is not the polls, the problems is the policy," Buttigieg replied. "And I don’t need lessons from you on courage, political or personal. Everyone on this stage is determined to get something done...The problem is not other Democrats who don’t agree with your particular idea of how to handle this. The problem is the National Rifle Association and their enablers in Congress and we should be united in taking the fight to them."
Buttigieg was referring to his service as an officer in the Navy, where he eventually went on to deploy to Afghanistan.
"That’s a mischaracterization...I got to answer this. Never took you or anyone else on who disagrees with me on this issue, but when you, Mayor, describe this policy as a shiny object...that was a slap in the fact to every single one of those groups and every survivor of a mass casualty assault with an AR-15 and an AK-47. We must buy them back," O'Rourke said.
The day before the debate, O'Rourke, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) each took a jab at Buttigieg for his criticism for the idea of a mandatory buyback.