O’Rourke, a former member of Congress, has made gun control a central message of his campaign, especially afterlast month’s mass shootingin his hometown of El Paso, which left 22 people dead. The message Cain initially responded to was a partial quote from Thursday night’s Democratic debate, in which O’Rourke was asked about his proposed mandatory buyback of assault weapons.
“Critics call this confiscation. Are you proposing taking away their guns, and how would this work?” asked debate moderator David Muir.
O’Rourke said assault weapons were designed for a battlefield, not for hunting or personal protection.
“Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” he said to cheers. “We’re not going to allow it to be used against your fellow Americans anymore.”
Last year, Cain wasthrown out of the state Democratic conventionafter trying to distribute prank gun control signs, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported at the time. One attendee accused him of brandishing a gun at the event.