President Joe Biden has apparently violated a campaign pledge he made to a presidential primary rival-turned-supporter.
While Biden vowed to place former U.S. Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke (D-TX) in charge of any efforts he might make toward stricter gun control, the president has instead nominated another outspoken anti-gun advocate to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Breitbart reports.
“We’re going to take your AR-15”
Biden put forward his nomination of former ATF special agent David Chipman to serve as its next director.
The nominee became a top executive at a prominent gun control advocacy group following his years of service in the public sector.
More than a year ago, then-candidate Biden had all but secured his nomination and O’Rourke, who had already suspended his campaign, appeared alongside him at an event in Dallas, Texas, to offer a political endorsement.
O’Rourke had effectively doomed his own campaign months earlier, although he curried favor among other anti-gun activists when he declared during a September 2019 debate: “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.”
Likely with that controversial stance in mind, Biden introduced O’Rourke at the campaign event by insisting that it would not be the end of the road for his anti-gun agenda.
“You’re the best”
“You’re going to take care of the gun problem with me,” Biden said, according to Breitbart. “You’re going to be the one who leads this effort. I’m counting on you. I’m counting on you. We need you badly. The state needs you. The country needs you. You’re the best.”
In a White House statement on Wednesday, however, the Biden administration revealed that Chipman would be nominated to serve as the next ATF director.
“ATF is the key agency enforcing our gun laws, and it needs a confirmed director in order to do the job to the best of its ability,” the administration’s fact sheet proclaimed. “But ATF has not had a confirmed director since 2015. Chipman served at ATF for 25 years ad now works to advance commonsense gun safety laws.”
Biden later referenced Chipman in a speech at the White House Rose Garden during which he heralded his proposed gun control measures and twice referred to the agency as the “AFT” instead of ATF.
Of course, if Biden had been serious when he offered a glowing review of O’Rourke last year, it seems that the former Texas lawmaker would be the nominee. Apparently, the president either forgot that promise, never really meant to uphold it, or realized that, in the eyes of many Americans, O’Rourke is a political joke who has few, if any, of the qualifications necessary for such a prominent post.