O'Rourke is campaigning Thursday in Iowa. While on his way to Fort Madison High School, O'Rourke, who behaved himself, spoke to Radio Iowa.
The three-term El Paso congressman has been specifically questioned over the recent decision by California governor Gavin Newsom to sign a decree putting an end to executions of the state's 737 death row inmates.
In 2017, O'Rourke voted for a bill; Thin Blue Line Act, which expands "the list of aggravating factors provided by law in the determinations of the death penalty" to include those who target or murder members of the police.
O'Rourke's comments come just a day after Democratic Governor Newsom signed a decree setting a moratorium on all executions at San Quentin State Prison. The order also removed the lethal injections rules but left the convictions intact.
This order goes against most of the state's wishes, with California voters supporting a move to speed up executions in 2016 - President Trump said neither the families nor the friends of the victims were " delighted with Newsom's change of course.