Joe Biden got himself a mighty boost in the days leading up to Super Tuesday when some of his primary challengers abruptly dropped out of the race. On the heels of Biden’s victory in South Carolina, both Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar canceled their campaigns and immediately threw their support to the last (viable) moderate standing in the race.
But Biden also picked up an endorsement from a guy who quit the race some time ago: The white Barack Obama himself, Beto O’Rourke.
The former Texas congressman, whose campaign for the Democratic nomination fell flat on its face, can perhaps best be remembered for one of the most stunning gaffes of the race when he said, “you’re damn right we’re going to take your AR-15s.” This was widely seen as a terrible blunder even by Democrats, who know that you never just go right out there and say the quiet part out loud.
But O’Rourke’s blunder was outdone by Biden himself this week when the former vice president said that O’Rourke would be helping him out on gun control if he wins the presidency.
From Fox News:
In a surprise moment at the end of his Dallas rally on the eve of Super Tuesday, former Vice President Joe Biden called former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke up to the stage — and vowed to put O’Rourke, who has said the government should forcibly seize assault rifles from Americans, in charge of gun-control efforts.
“Ladies and gentlemen, tomorrow, March 3, 2020, I will be casting my ballot for Joe Biden,” O’Rourke announced to applause at the rally’s conclusion.
O’Rourke called President Trump an “existential threat” to “free and fair elections,” and urged rallygoers to view Biden as the “antithesis of Donald Trump,” someone who is “decent, kind, caring, and empathetic.”
Biden, taking the microphone after O’Rourke spoke, then announced, “I want to make something clear — I’m gonna guarantee you, this is not the last you’re seeing of this guy — you’re gonna take care of the gun problem with me, you’re gonna be the one who leads this effort. I’m counting on you, I’m counting on you, we need you badly.”
There are quite a few things that Biden has over Bernie in this race, but if there’s one area where Bernie is better, it’s that he doesn’t think we should just confiscate every gun in America to stop mass shootings. Now, under pressure, Sanders has liberalized this position a bit, but he’s still relatively moderate on guns as far as Democrats go. Biden (disastrously) thinks this is actually where Bernie is weakest, which is why we assume he picked Beto to be his gun control guy. In doing so, he may have flummoxed any chance he once had of picking up moderate Republican voters.