MSNBC host Chris Matthews suggested Thursday that former Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s proposed mandatory buyback of semi-automatic rifles is a losing issue.
“I don’t know where you get away with that,” the liberal host said after Thursday night’s Democratic presidential primary debate.
During the debate, Mr. O’Rourke reiterated his plan to ban “assault” weapons and implement a mandatory, federal gun buyback program.
“Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” the former Texas congressman declared to a round of applause.
Mr. Matthews later described the position as “extreme.”
“The evening began with calls for unity,” the host said during his post-debate analysis. “I think it was a pushback against hard ideology of the Democratic left. That was the theme for a while, but then I thought some of the strong ideologues, the people who have strong agendas like [Elizabeth] Warren and Bernie Sanders were very clear where they stand: ‘Medicare for All,’ no more private insurance, absolute position on that. Bernie and her competed on paying off all the student loans.
“Then Beto came along and said he’s going to not just buy back automatic — the semi-automatic assault rifles, but demand that they sell them back. I don’t know where you get away with that,” he continued. “I noticed that Kamala [Harris] talked about an executive order. This would be an extraordinary ruling by the Supreme Court that would allow a president to use executive orders to demand the end of ownership by automatic weapons — by semi-automatic assault weapons.
“I just think these are three or four cases of extreme, ideological positions,” he added. “But generally, I thought there was a pushback on that stage against the hard left. I heard a lot of calls for unity.”
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