Michael Moore applauded Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke in an interview out Saturday for saying during a debate he would confiscate assault-style weapons if elected.
Mr. Moore, a documentarian who won an Oscar for his 2002 film about American gun culture, lauded the candidate’s stance as courageous during an interview conducted by Hill.TV.
“Democrats went out there to trash Beto O’Rourke for saying that. But if you watch the debate, it is the only moment in the debate where the audience flew out of their chairs in an eruptive standing ovation. Because that’s what the people want,” said Mr. Moore.
“We need to have some courage,” Mr. Moore added. “No one had ever said it. No Republican had ever said it. But no Democrat had ever said it. Because you’re not supposed to say it.”
Mr. O’Rourke, a former three-term U.S. congressman for Texas, caught flack from more moderate Democrats after saying during a presidential debate last month that his administration would ban and confiscate firearms used in several recent mass shootings.
“Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” Mr. O’Rourke said during the party’s third primary debate. “We’re not going to allow it to be used against a fellow American anymore.”
Democrats went “ballistic” following Mr. O’Rourke’s debate performance, Mr. Moore said during the interview.
Mr. Moore, 65, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2002 for “Bowling for Columbine,” a film about American gun culture he wrote, produced and directed. It was named for and focuses on the mass-shooting at Columbine High School near Denver, Colorado, where two students fatally gunned down 12 of their classmates and a teacher three years earlier.
Despite the kind words for the El Paso Democrat, Mr. O’Rourke can rule out his support for Democratic nominee, however. Mr. Moore last weekend publicly endorsed the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernard Sanders, Vermont independent.