During an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on State of the Union, former Texas lawmaker and current 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke offered his thoughts when asked if he thought voting for President Donald Trump is racist.
“You said to me last week that you thought President Trump was a white nationalist,” Tapper said, according to The Washington Times.
“Almost 63 million Americans voted for him. Do you think it’s racist to vote for President Trump in 2020?”
After a moment of silence, O’Rourke began his response with, “I think it’s really hard,” before explaining a number of actions taken by Trump that the candidate believes are racist, without directly labeling Trump voters as racist.
O’Rourke highlighted several instances of what he perceives as racist actions the president has made, including his Muslim immigration policies, the transgender troop ban and because he says Trump has attacked “anyone who does not look like or pray like or love like the majority of this country.”
He doubled down by telling Tapper that he thinks Trump is “dangerous” to America’s future and thinks Trump will destroy “what makes us so unique and so special.”
O’Rourke’s anti-Trump rhetoric has magnified in recent weeks, especially on the heels of the mass shooting that took place in the former lawmaker’s hometown of El Paso, Texas.
According to CNN, O’Rourke lashed out at the press during a vigil for the victims of the El Paso massacre. When asked if he thought there was anything Trump could do to make things better, O’Rourke exploded.
“What do you think? You know the s— he’s been saying. He’s been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. I don’t know, like, members of the press, what the f—? Hold on a second. You know, I — it’s these questions that you know the answers to,” O’Rourke angrily responded.
He went on to tell reporters that he believes Trump is promoting racism and inciting violence, which echoes previous statements he’s gone on record saying against the president.
WATCH: Beto Is Asked If Trump Voters Are Racist. He Refuses To Answer. https://t.co/1zDjVh8OCF
— The Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) August 11, 2019
According to ABC News, MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace asked O’Rourke if he thinks Trump is a white supremacist, to which the 2020 candidate answered “he is,” and followed up by saying the president has made that “very clear.”
Trump slammed O’Rourke on Twitter, mocking his “phony” name and his 1 percent polling average at the time before demanding that the former congressman respect law enforcement and the victims of the mass shooting.
The tweet came one day before Trump was set to visit El Paso — a trip that O’Rourke said he preferred Trump didn’t make.
According to Real Clear Politics polling averages, O’Rourke currently sits in sixth place at two percent, a position shared by New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.