First seen in Politico
Pete Buttigieg attacked Beto O’Rourke on the debate stage in highly personal terms on Tuesday night, telling the former Texas lawmaker that, “I don’t need lessons from you on courage, political or personal.”
The sharp line came as the two Democratic presidential rivals engaged in an emotional back and forth over gun policies, sparked by O’Rourke’s vigorous defense of his proposal for a mandatory buyback program for assault weapons.
Buttigieg came after the vague plan. “You don’t know how this is actually going to take weapons off the streets,” he said. He called O’Rourke’s stance a “purity test,” and suggested that America can’t wait for specific policies to be passed but must unite to fight the National Rifle Association.
“This is not a purity test. This is a country that loses 40,000 of our fellow Americans every year to gun violence. This is a crisis,” O’Rourke responded, pushing back against being limited by the “the polls and consultants and focus group.”
Buttigieg attacked O’Rourke, delivering his scathing line on courage, and suggesting that the problem was O’Rourke’s extreme policy.
O’Rourke quickly came back at Buttigieg, accusing him of minimizing the issue by describing “this policy as a shiny object.”
“That was a slap in the face to every one of those groups and every survivor of a mass casualty assault,” O’Rourke said.