This is an excerpt from The Stakes 2020, BuzzFeed News' newsletter about what really matters in the 2020 campaign. You can sign up here.
This week I texted with Beto O'Rourke, the former congressman from El Paso, who captured the imagination of the Democratic Party in his Senate race last year but is struggling to carry that energy onto the national stage. Recently, he’s energized his campaign with blunt talk and a hard line on guns, and he's calling out other Democratic candidates — in this instance Pete Buttigieg — in direct terms.
The South Bend mayor had earlier called O'Rourke's plan for a mandatory buy-back program for assault weapons a "shiny object," and O'Rourke did not hold back when I asked him about Buttigieg, about his views on guns, Trump, and more.