Beto O’Rourke is not going to be the president. Not this time, as Jonathan Frakes would put it. But as his campaign enters what must surely be its final stages, the candidate has begun to flail in increasingly more dramatic ways. In some cases, he is entertaining, and also correct. The National Rifle Association should probably lose its tax-exempt status, as he suggested a few weeks ago. The organization is clearly corrupt, an unofficial arm of the Republican Party; O’Rourke’s proposal was unusually blunt for a Democrat but not wrong per se.
At CNN’s LGBTQ town hall, however, O’Rourke’s need to distinguish himself from his peers got him into trouble. Asked by CNN’s Don Lemon if he believed that “religious institutions like colleges, churches, charities” should “lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage,” O’Rourke answered in the affirmative. “There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone, or any institution, any organization in America that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us,” he said. “So as president we’re going to make that a priority and we are going to stop those who are infringing on the rights of our fellow Americans.”
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) October 11, 2019
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