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Houston-Area Lawmaker Defends Controversial Twitter Exchange With Beto O’Rourke

State Rep. Briscoe Cain told O’Rourke, “My AR is ready for you Robert Francis.”

Democratic presidential candidate former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke answers a question Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by ABC at Texas Southern University in Houston.

During the third Democratic presidential debate at Texas Southern University on Thursday, Beto O’Rourke told viewers he would take away AR-15 rifles from gun owners if he were elected president. 

In response, State Rep. Briscoe Cain, R-Deer Park, told O’Rourke on Twitter, “My AR is ready for you Robert Francis.” O’Rourke responded to Cain, calling the tweet a death threat. The O’Rourke campaign reported the incident to the FBI, the candidate said.

Within hours, Twitter took down Cain’s tweet.

In a text message, Cain told Houston Public Media: 

“The unofficial motto of Texas has long been, “Come And Take It.” If you don’t understand that Robert Francis, you’ve spent too much time in DC.

No threat was made. Beto knows that. He’s just a failed politician grasping. But Texans know he is a danger. He wrecked his car in a DWI accident then fled from the cops. We should take his license away.”

Other members of the House weighed in on the exchange.

Cain’s legislative district includes Deer Park, La Porte and part of Pasadena. The 34-year-old Republican member of the far-right Texas Freedom Caucus has previously said he carries a gun in the Capitol building.

This isn’t the first time Cain has been involved in controversy. He’s active on social media and uses his platform to oppose abortion rights and advocate for Second Amendment rights. 

He quickly made the Texas Monthly 2017 list of worst legislators in his first year, after his colleagues complained about his behavior. That same year, Texas Southern University students forced Cain to stop speaking at a campus event where he had been invited to participate.

Cain was first elected to the Legislature in 2016. He was reelected, unchallenged, in 2018.

 

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