Posts tagged with "Beto O’rourke"

Beto O’Rourke is escorted out of Uvalde media briefing after confronting Governor Greg Abbott

May 27, 2022

In a stunning moment on Wednesday, May 25, former Representatiave Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) confronted Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) over gun control policy at a press conference at which officials were giving updates on the mass shooting at an Uvalde elementary school, reports the Huffington Post.

“You’re doing nothing. You’re all doing nothing,” O’Rourke told the officials assembled on the stage.

One of them repeatedly shouted back, “Sir, you are out of line!”

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (R) told O’Rourke he was “an embarrassment.”

An 18-year-old ran into Robb Elementary School in the small west Texas town on Tuesday, killing 19 children and two teachers with an AR-15 rifle. Seventeen more were injured, Abbott said earlier at the press conference. The man, who was killed by responding officers, had shot his grandmother in the face before driving over to the school. He posted his intentions to Facebook shortly before the rampage, Abbott said.

As Abbott finished his remarks and introduced Dan Patrick, O’Rourke approached the stage to interrupt. His initial remarks were drowned out by crosstalk from different attendees―some cheering him and many others jeering.

O’Rourke made a comment that clearly was directed at Abbott while law enforcement moved to escort him out.

“This is on you,” O’Rourke said. “Until you choose to do something different, this will continue to happen. Somebody needs to stand up for the children of this state or they will continue to be killed just like they were killed in Uvalde yesterday.”

Cody Ytuarte, a carpenter visiting family affected by the shooting, was standing near O’Rourke. He interjected: “This is propaganda, bro. Get out of here. You’re trash, man.”

As O’Rourke exited, some of his supporters chanted, “Let him speak!” One person asked, “How about the First Amendment?”

The Republican elected officials at the dais criticized O’Rourke with varying degrees of subtlety once he was out of the room.“There will be plenty of time to discuss and analyze what happened yesterday,” Patrick said.

Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan (R) concurred. “Mayor, I’m sorry you had to witness that outburst,” Phelan said to Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin. “Now is not the time to politicize pain and suffering.”

In his initial remarks, Abbott had acknowledged that “people are rightfully angry about what’s happened,” but he did not offer gun policy solutions. “Now more than ever,” Abbott said, what the Uvalde community needs “is our love.

“What they need is uplifting from all of our fellow Texans and all of our fellow Americans,” the governor said. “And let me emphasize something that I know you all know, but the reality is as horrible as what happened, it could’ve been worse. The reason it was not worse is because law enforcement officials did what they do.”

Abbott called for better mental health care in the west Texas region. But when asked by a reporter whether he would reconsider accepting federal funds to expand Medicaid to that end, he said no.

Patrick similarly suggested there was little policy action that could be taken, saying, “Evil will always walk among us.”v

“In times like this, I’ve seen it … in these other shootings, Sutherland Springs, El Paso, Odessa, Santa Fe, it’s God that brings a community together,” he added, referencing previous mass shootings in the state. “It’s God that heals a community.”

Following the outburst, Abbott criticized the relatively strict gun control policies of states with the nation’s largest cities, including California, Illinois, and New York.

“There are, quote, real gun laws in Chicago,” Abbott said, then claimed that such measures do not work. “Hate to say this, but there are more people who were shot every weekend in Chicago than there are in schools in Texas.”

Research contact: @HuffPost 

Biden gets another boost from rivals-turned-endorsers Buttigieg, Klobuchar, and O’Rourke

March 4, 2020

Following his bang-up win in the South Carolina primary on Saturday, February 29, former Vice President Joe Biden would be justified in invoking the famous Mark Twain quip, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”

Biden, who had been struggling until that crucial victory, took home 35 delegates (for a total of 54) and 48.4% of the vote from the Palmetto State; compared to Bernie Sanders’ booty of 13 delegates (for a total of 60) and 19.9% of the vote, The Huffington Post reported.

But the stakes were much higher on Super Tuesday, March 3, when 14 states—among them, California and Texas, with 415 and 228 pledged candidates, respectively—were scheduled to go to the polls for their Democratic primaries, as Yahoo reports.

However, a new wave of endorsements, coming the night before the Super Tuesday polls opened, could give Biden the boost from moderate voters that he needs.He appeared on stage with former rivals Amy Klobuchar and Beto O’Rourke on Monday night and presented his emerging two-person race with Bernie Sanders as a battle for the soul of the Democratic Party, NBC News reports.

Pete Buttigieg flew from South Bend, Indiana, to Dallas to endorse Biden before his rally but returned home and did not join the former vice president at the event.

At the rally, Biden told cheering supporters that Super Tuesday voters are “going to determine what this party stands for, what we believe,and what we’re going to get done” — and took a series of swipes at Sanders.

“If Democrats want a nominee who will build on Obamacare, not scrap it; take on the NRA and gun manufacturers, protect our children; who’ll stand up for the middle class, not raise their taxes and make promises that can’t be kept, then join us,” Biden said. “If Democrats want a nominee who’s a Democrat, a lifelong Democrat, a proud Democrat, a lifelong Democrat, then join us. We can either win big or lose big, that’s the choice.”

According to the NBC News story, a running theme in the remarks of Buttigieg, Klobuchar, and O’Rourke was that Biden is the party’s best chance at victory and offers a decent and caring alternative to President Donald Trump.

“We need somebody who can beat Donald Trump. The man in the White House today poses an existential threat to this country, to our democracy, to free and fair elections, and we need somebody who can beat him,” O’Rourke said. “In Joe Biden, we have that man.”

Buttigieg said Biden would “bring back dignity to the White House” if elected president and “change the toxic and divisive nature of our politics right now.”

“He is somebody of such extraordinary grace and kindness and empathy,” said the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

Klobuchar appeared to take a veiled dig at Sanders: “It is time for a president who represents all of America, including people at the middle of this country, at a time when we see people in extremes that are trying to drown out people,” she said.

Speaking to reporters in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Monday, Sanders addressed the consolidation of party elites behind Biden, calling it “a massive effort trying to stop Bernie Sanders,” NBC said.

“The corporate establishment is coming together. The political establishment is coming together and they will do everything. They are really getting nervous that working people are standing up…We are winning working class voters, by big numbers,” Sanders said. “So it doesn’t surprise me why would I be surprised that establishment politicians are coming together?”

Research contact: @NBCNews

Beto in talks with Dem strategist for campaign manager

March 19, 2019

Newly announced Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke is looking for a campaign manager, CNN reports; and he has begun discussions with veteran Democratic strategist Jen O’Malley Dillon, who previously served as deputy campaign manager for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, and as a top political consultant for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada.

O’Rourke told reporters in Milwaukee on Sunday that he is “in talks” with someone to become his campaign manager and has offered the job to one person. He did identify that person, CNN said.

O’Rourke and O’Malley Dillon met at the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference and festival in Austin  to discuss the role on March 16, aides told CNN, and they talked about the possibility of her joining the campaign in a subsequent call. She remains uncertain about the role, a source said, but is likely to decide this week.

It is unusual for a high-profile campaign like O’Rourke’s to launch without a campaign manager—but the former Texas congressman has seen great enthusiasm for his run, having raised $6.1 million in contributions from the public during the first hours after he announced he was in.

He has met with several people, aides said, but has yet to be successful in hiring someone to lead the campaign efforts from its headquarters in El Paso, Texas.

“I’m working with an extraordinary team right now, some of whom helped me in the amazing Senate race that we ran in Texas, some of whom are new to this campaign,” O’Rourke said Sunday, CNN reported. “I am in talks with someone who might be very excited to lead this effort, but at the same time that I say that, I want to give my thanks to the team that has started this up and allowed us to have such a strong start three-and-a-half days into this campaign.”

Asked how many people he has offered the job to, O’Rourke said, “I have made one offer.”

O’Rourke’s campaign declined to comment to CNN and O’Malley Dillon did not return requests for comment.

Research contact: @ericbradner

Obama aides say Beto is ‘heir’ to Barack

December 4, 2018

It’s “déjà vu all over again,” for President Barack Obama’s former aides—who are saying that Beto O’Rourke’s campaign against Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in the midterms gave them flashbacks to their own candidate’s precocious political rise, according to a December 2 report by NBC News.

Indeed, according to the network news outlet, the closely fought campaign by the charismatic and youthful Democratic white congressman—who serves Texas’ 16th District— has catapulted him to the position of unlikely heir to the first black president’s “hope and change” mantle.

Obama, himself, said as much, CNN reported, at an event in Chicago in late November, noting, “What I like most about his race was that it didn’t feel constantly poll-tested. It felt as if he based his statements and his positions on what he believed. And that, you’d like to think, is normally how things work. Sadly, it’s not.”

Already, some of #44’s former political lieutenants have been publicly encouraging O’Rourke to consider a 2020 presidential bid; while privately counseling him on what to expect, should he jump in.

And it looks as if he’s willing: O’Rourke said on November 26  that he would prefer to finish his congressional term January 3 before deciding what’s next. But that’s a far cry from repeatedly saying during the Senate campaign that he had no White House aspirations whatsoever.

In O’Rourke, NBC News reported, Obama veterans see not only an inspiring political celebrity, but, like Obama, a tactical innovator who eschewed the political industrial complex of pollsters and consultants; and used technology in new ways to connect directly with supporters and multiply the force of his fundraising and ground game.

“The reason I was able to make a connection with a sizable portion of the country was because people had a sense that I said what I meant,” Obama told his former strategist David Axelrod during an interview last week, adding that O’Rourke has that same quality.

O’Rourke has received invitations to speak to Democratic groups in early presidential states like Iowa and New Hampshire, but has yet to accept them,  a former senior adviser to his campaign told the network.

“We’ve had a lot of former Obama alumni saying: ‘If we can be helpful as you think about this, let us know. If you want our perspective on what it’s like to run a national campaign, let us know,'” said the former O’Rourke aide, who spoke to NBC News on condition of anonymity.

And a new group, co-founded by a former Obama field organizer, has been created to attempt to draft O’Rourke into the presidential race. “Beto has a special ability—like President Obama did—to make people believe in the best version of America,” Lauren Pardi, who worked on Obama’s campaign in New Hampshire, told the network news outlet.

It may not be reaching too far to predict that, along with having the same initials in their names—Barack O’Bama, Beto O’Rourke—they may enjoy the same political destiny.

Research contact: @aseitzwald