ABC News Matches Undecided Voters With 2020 Candidates in ‘Around the Table’ Series

ABC News

As ABC News prepares to broadcast the third Democratic debate on Thursday, the network is introducing a new twist on campaign coverage.

“Around the Table,” which launched on Tuesday morning on ABC News Live, brings three undecided voters to a dinner table to meet with a Democratic presidential candidate. The voters get to ask the candidate any question in a more personal setting, certainly more informal than in a presidential town hall. Watch the first episode below.

First up was Beto O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman, who along with his wife Amy were joined at their El Paso home by Viviana Rivera, Caleb Morris and Tess Clarke and moderator Byron Pitts. As a dinner of beef, broccoli and baked potatoes was passed around the table, they covered issues including immigration, health care and education.

They also covered gun reform in the wake of the mass shooting in O’Rourke’s hometown of  El Paso.

“There is this identity that is like owning guns and religious freedom” that “co-exist together. What does common sense gun reform look like?” asked Clarke, 36, who runs a nonprofit in Dallas.

“We begin with a background check on every weapon purchased and every weapon transferred ideally,” O’Rourke responded. “I think this is a bit more controversial. I think you should also have a license for owning firearms.

O’Rourke didn’t back away from his contention that Trump is a racist, but said that didn’t mean his supporters were racist. “There may be any number of reasons that somebody supports President Trump, and I want to be very respectful of that,” he said. “But I will say that Trump has encouraged the racists in this country.”

A special version of the first episode will air tonight on ABC’s Nightline.

The series also will be available on demand on ABC and on its mobile and over-the-top apps. Here is the first episode of “Around the Table”:

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