As he falls further behind in the polls for Texas governor leading up to Election Day next month, Democrat Beto O’Rourke is trying to gently flip-flop his way out of some of his most politically damaging positions.
O’Rourke is taking on incumbent Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, and as he loses ground on issues like immigration and abortion he is searching for last-minute rhetoric that he hopes will attract critical independent voters.
He is now working to convince people he has never backed the “defund the police” movement that took off during the riotous summer of 2020.
Perhaps the worst candidate of our lifetime. Yet he keeps running. Because that’s his job. https://t.co/3JDkPLKBjI
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) October 1, 2022
During a debate with Abbott on Friday night, O’Rourke repeatedly dodged questions about whether he would still work to confiscate Texans’ AR-15s as he promised to do in the past. O’Rourke was shown a video clip from a 2019 debate during the Democratic primaries for the 2020 presidential election.
In the video, O’Rourke said, “Hell yes we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47, we’re not going to allow it to be used against Americans anymore.”
The moderator then asked O’Rourke, “Are you for confiscating AR-15 style weapons or not?”
At first, O’Rourke made an appeal to emotion regarding the children killed earlier this year in Uvalde, Texas, saying that after talking to families who had to identify their children “by the the shoes they were wearing, it’s clear to me that the only place that an AR-15 or an AK-47 makes sense is on a battlefield.“
Then he pivoted away from confiscation to say that Texas needed to raise the minimum age to purchase a rifle to 21. He also said he supported a “red flag law” and “universal background checks.”
The moderator did not give up and followed up with, “yes or no, are you for confiscating AR-15 style weapons?”
The Democrat dodged again, saying only that he is for “making sure that we make progress.”
The current RealClearPolitics polling average shows that Abbott is ahead of O’Rourke by eight percentage points, 50.2% to 42.2%, with just over a month until the November 8 election.