Beto O’Rourke visits Arkansas, discusses gun control, immigration

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke campaigns in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - A second Democratic presidential candidate visited the Natural State Saturday, talking with voters about issues and attempting to build support for his campaign.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke - one of nearly two dozen Democrats seeking their party’s nod for the White House - visited a Conway gun show Saturday and is scheduled to give a speech at a state Democratic party event Saturday evening in Little Rock.

O’Rourke said the recent mass shooting in his hometown of El Paso provided a renewed reason for his campaign, with discussion over guns being a focus in the country today.

“I don’t think that I truly appreciated the consequence and the cost of Donald Trump until someone who was inspired by his very hateful rhetoric - his warnings of invasions and Hispanics and immigrants and Mexicans coming to this country - drove 600 miles from Allen, Texas to El Paso, Texas - opened fire with an AK-47 in a Walmart and killed 22 people and injured dozens more," O’Rourke said.

Of his visit to the Conway gun show, O’Rourke said he heard support for universal background checks as well as enforcing laws already on the books as a way to deal with mass shootings.

O’Rourke, who is a former Texas congressman who lost a United States Senate race in 2018 to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), also said he would like to see Congress work on the issue in a bipartisan manner, building consensus and compromise on the issue.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) also visited Little Rock Thursday during a campaign stop.

The Arkansas primary is March 3.

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