The version of this morning’s interview uploaded by CNN to YouTube has the offending word bleeped, as you’ll see below. The version that aired live on CNN this morning did not. He’s getting good buzz from progressives because of it, just like he got good buzz a few weeks ago when he was asked by a reporter what Trump might say after the El Paso shooting to make things better and replied incredulously, “What the f***?”
Whether it’s a deliberate strategy or just O’Rourke letting it all hang out now that he’s become a long longshot in the primaries, he’s the “passion candidate” in the race now. If you’re a progressive who wants to hear a thoughtful four-minute analysis of potential gun-control legislation, you talk to Buttigieg. If you’re a progressive who wants someone to channel your exasperation at policies you hate with choice expletives, Beto’s your guy.
He might end up climbing his way back into the top tier one F at a time. “Profanity is not the f-bomb,” he said on Twitter this morning. “What is profane is a 17-month-old baby being shot in the face.” Odds are no worse than 50/50 that he calls Trump an MFer at the next debate.
Stick with the clip after the first few minutes here to see Dana Bash quiz him about the most dubious part of his gun-control agenda, a mandatory buyback of assault weapons a la Australia. How are you going to get that passed, she wonders, a question to which Beto has no answer. Not even a narrow Senate Democratic majority that’s nuked the filibuster would enact a mandatory buyback I think; they’d probably lose enough red-state Dems like Joe Manchin on the vote that they’d fall short of 50. It’s also possible that the Supreme Court would swat down a buyback as an infringement of the Second Amendment, although you know how John Roberts gets when the Court is asked to rule on a momentous Democratic initiative. He may lean right (he voted with Scalia in the Heller case) but he seems to worry a lot about the Court looking like a partisan creature, which explains his infamous vote in the ObamaCare case. Would anyone be surprised if Roberts joined with the liberals to uphold a buyback — i.e. confiscation — program?