2020 candidate Beto O’Rourke in a heated discussion with The View cohost, Meghan McCain, doubled down on his comments to ABC News describing President Donald Trump’s North Carolina rally "an impromptu Nuremberg" gathering.
“When he’s asking four women of color to go back to their own country, and then connecting that with everything else that he's doing, calling the press the enemy of the people, there is only one path that will take us down,” O’Rourke said.
He disagreed with McCain, who said his comments – which referenced the types of xenophobic rallies that took place during the rise of the Nazis to power in Germany– may turn off moderate voters, and called his comments extreme.
“We all have to take accountability for our actions," O'Rourke said, adding later "The direction of this country has never been so imperiled or undermined as it is now. This is our defining moment of truth.”
On Monday, during an interview with ABC News Live, the former Texas congressman condemned everything from the president’s immigration policies to his comments against four congresswomen of color, also known as “the Squad.”
“What we saw in North Carolina last week was almost an impromptu Nuremberg rally, inciting hatred and ultimately, implicit violence against people of color, people. Based on their religion and based on their difference from the majority. And it is in keeping with the president who describes Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals, who describes asylum seekers as animals and an infestation. The man who calls Klansman very fine people. It very clear the path he is taking us on"
"Yes, President Trump is a racist," 2020 candidate Beto O'Rourke tells ABC News' @BrianaKStewart on @ABCNewsLive. "What we saw in North Carolina last week was almost an impromptu Nuremberg rally ... it's very clear the path that he is taking us on" https://t.co/YqQFDBlZbr pic.twitter.com/WpSAAyAHup
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 22, 2019
O'Rourke and his wife Amy appeared in their first national television interview at The View Tuesday morning, discussing immigration, life in El Paso, and the campaign trail ahead.
Amy O’Rourke has had a growing presence on the campaign trail, introducing herself to voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, and most recently, New York.
The couple trekked to Ellis Island – which in its day processed more than 12 million immigrants – and as a result, over 100 million Americans: more than 30% of the population.
The trip was a chance to trace his and the country's roots to the border battle in his hometown in Texas. It was also a chance for the presidential candidate to dig deeper on one of his signature issues -- immigration -- on the heels of the June debate in Miami where his fellow 2020 hopeful former Housing Secretary Julian Castro said O'Rourke should "do his homework" on the issue.
It also comes on the heels of O’Rourke’s continued stagnation in the polls, as he attempts to “reboot” a campaign that started hot, but in recent months has slid.
In the last two months, the former Texas congressman has bolstered his outreach, having more nuanced discussions on economic inequality, recently revealing in a Medium post that both he and his wife are descended from slave owners.
During his View appearance, he discussed how the revelation made American racial disparities more personal for him.
"Learning that our ancestors owned other people and helped to create a system that some people in this country have benefited from and others have been held down by it and that persists today-- yeah, it made it very personal for us." O'Rourke said. "But if anything it renewed the urgency that we feel around making sure that there is repair in this country."
Tuesday was O’Rourke’s second appearance on The View – the first, where the ladies came down on him hard for his campaign rollout in Vanity Fair, and perceived white male privilege – that he was ‘born to run,’ born for the role of president he had yet to convince the nation he deserved.
In his first "View" appearance he also walked back comments he made in his announcement video in March – where he joked that his wife bore the brunt of the childcare, and that he “sometimes helps out” with their three kids – comments which drew wide backlash. But his wife told The View hosts that she wasn't offended by the comments, highlighting her husband's support as they raise their family in the public eye.
"It wasn't that I was upset with him, it probably just didn't come across the right way," she said. "[Beto] was really just trying to illustrate that it is tough to manage everything at home and I think he was trying to acknowledge that in a way" she continued. "And if i didn't feel his appreciation and his love, and his worth than I would probably been upset."
Amy O'Rourke spoke candidly about the pressure she felt when first stepping into the spotlight, admitting she cried in 2009 when O'Rourke told he wanted to run for Congress when she was pregnant with their third child, Henry.
She also recounted feeling overwhelmed while reading Michelle Obama's book ‘Becoming’, as she wrap her mind around the hypothetical demands of being America's first lady.
"When I first read the book, the first half was amazing and then as soon as it turned to the campaign my stomach hurt," Amy said jokingly. "[Michelle Obama} was so strong and brilliant and she made it look easy." she added. Her husband chimed in, adding a memory of her first reaction to the book.
"I remember her booking the book down once night in the bed together and looking over and saying, 'what in the hell are we about to do?"