Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke (D.) has entered the "f*ck it" phase of his campaign as he continues to struggle to gain traction in polls, according to a report from Politico. The former Texas representative refocused his campaign on calls for expansive gun control policies in the wake of mass shootings over the past month and a half, and has also expanded his use of profanity.
His campaign is also selling shirts with the phrase "This is f*cked up" displayed six times with the phrase "End gun violence now" beneath.
New in the store…
— Team Beto (@TeamBeto) September 1, 2019
The use of profanity is not new for O'Rourke, but his "f*ck it" approach comes from the campaign's desire not to do "the obvious" anymore.
"He's like, okay, well, screw it," a Democratic lobbyist from Texas told Politico.
O'Rourke's policy proposals include a mandatory buyback of weapons like AR-15s and AK-47s, despite his previous assurances that gun owners could continue to keep and use those weapons "responsibly and safely."
He has also blasted President Donald Trump and the United States on multiple occasions, accusing the president of inciting violence and criticizing America as "a country that has been defined by foundational, systemic, endemic racism" since its founding.
O'Rourke defended his use of profanity as reflecting the urgency of the threats posed by President Trump and gun violence, and his campaign is using the candidate's language to promote its priorities.
"Profanity is not the f-bomb. What is profane is a 17 month-old baby being shot in the face," O'Rourke tweeted on Sept. 1. His campaign manager added, "GET EVERY ONE OF THOSE GODDAMN GUNS OFF OUR STREETS" in a subsequent tweet.
"We don't know how many have been killed. We don't know the motivation. But here's what we do know: This is fucked up," Beto tweeted on Aug. 31.
We don't know how many have been killed. We don't know the motivation. But here's what we do know: This is fucked up. pic.twitter.com/NRvyPfUjiM
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) September 1, 2019
O'Rourke continues to trail his fellow Democratic rivals as the primary race barrels towards the third Democratic debate.