Tag Archives: Beto

How Beto went from Dem darling to dropping out

How Beto went from Dem darling to dropping outFormer Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke has dropped out of the Democratic presidential primary. How did he go from looking like the next progressive star to also-ran in less than a year



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Beto O'Rourke dropped out of the 2020 race. Here's who stands to gain from his surprising exit.

Beto O'Rourke dropped out of the 2020 race. Here's who stands to gain from his surprising exit.A fifth of Democrats at least liked Beto. Where are they going to go now?



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Goodbye, Beto O'Rourke. What a sad end to a pointless campaign

Goodbye, Beto O'Rourke. What a sad end to a pointless campaignThere was no reason for Beto O’Rourke to run for president. But he was convinced we needed him‘After the initial burst of publicity, Beto fizzled quickly.’ Photograph: Larry W Smith/EPAWhen Bernie Sanders was first asked about Beto O’Rourke entering the presidential race, his reply was dismissive: “Free country, anybody can run.” But others thought O’Rourke was a powerful new rival. The New York Times said that Sanders’ “stronghold on the party’s progressive wing has weakened” because he was now “outflanked on the left by rising stars” like O’Rourke. O’Rourke debuted with a splash: a long, flattering profile in Vanity Fair in which O’Rourke—to his later regret—said “Man, I’m just born to be in it.”He was not, as it turned out, born to be in it.After the initial burst of publicity, Beto fizzled quickly. His poll numbers never got out of single digits, and at first he didn’t seem to know what he stood for or why he stood for it. Eventually, he hit upon a signature issue: gun control. But his provocative rhetoric—“Hell yeah, we’re going to take your AR-15”—seemed to backfire entirely, and he was accused of “hurting the cause” and even “single-handedly dooming a gun control bill.” He continued to lack a following outside of Texas, a place where he could not even win a statewide election against the Senate’s most reviled member. Perhaps the only person who ever truly thought Beto O’Rourke was likely to be president was Beto O’Rourke.What, if anything, can we take from the brief, underwhelming presidential run of Robert Francis O’Rourke? First, media hype does not a candidacy make. Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post declared in March that “Beto fundraising number[s] suggests Bernie now officially yesterday’s news, faces stiff competition for youth vote.” Indeed, Beto initially hauled in an impressive amount. But things change quickly in politics; remember that Rudy Guiliani and Jeb Bush were both once Republican Party frontrunners. Horse race pundits like to issue declarations and prophecies, but are just speculating. Political media is in constant need of new stories to tell, so we get a lot of “Could Candidate X Be The Next Big Thing?” coverage. The sensible thing to do is ignore most of this. Beto-mania was never likely to grip the country.We might also learn quite a simple lesson, namely that if you’re going to run for president, it helps to have a good reason for it. A reason beyond being “born to be in it,” that is. The Vanity Fair profile in which Beto debuted his national run was full of personal details about his life, such as his reading habits and his love of punk rock, but he didn’t say much about what he wanted to do as president, beyond having the United States “lead the world.” He also voiced uncertainty about being “against” things, saying he preferred to be “for” things, which is fine if you specify the things you’re for, but also a worrying sign that you’re insufficiently outraged by injustice. You’d think even Beto could have said he was against that, but he wouldn’t even go so far as to say he was a progressive, saying he “[didn’t] know” and was “not big on labels.”Beto’s campaign suffered from the same defect as Hillary Clinton’s. Insider accounts confirmed that Clinton could never really find a clear reason why she was in the race to begin with, and didn’t have any kind of clear agenda in mind. It was mostly that she just wanted to be president, and felt like the sort of person who ought to be president. Like Pete Buttigieg, who talked about having the right “alignment of attributes” for the job—for him, an Ivy League education, military service, and small town heartland authenticity—both Clinton and O’Rourke emphasized their personal traits over their political ideas. But people want substance: they need to know what you plan to do for their lives, not just why you’re a cool person with the kind of haircut that the president might have in a movie.Beto’s run always seemed like an ego trip. His family did not seem nearly as enthusiastic as he was about it, and his young son promised to “cry every day” if O’Rourke went through with it. He got into trouble for casually joking about putting the burden of parenting on his wife as he criss-crossed Texas campaigning for the Senate. But fame and power are alluring, and O’Rourke was one of dozens of politicians lured into the 2020 race by the promise of a national profile and a shot at the highest office. A slew of nondescript white men, including John Delaney, Michael Bennet, Tim Ryan, Seth Moulton, and John Hickenlooper, were delusional enough to think they might stand a chance. They might not have been that irrational, though: even in failing, they succeed in making themselves more well-known and possibly even more influential.They’ll all go eventually, though. With no original ideas, no movements behind them, they have nothing to offer the electorate, and the electorate knows it. Beto O’Rourke should never have run for president, but he couldn’t stop himself, because some men are just convinced they’re born for it. * Nathan Robinson is the editor of Current Affairs and a Guardian US columnist



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Beto O'Rourke drops out of race to become Democrats' 2020 presidential contender

Beto O'Rourke drops out of race to become Democrats' 2020 presidential contenderBeto O'Rourke has announced that he is dropping out of the race to become the Democrats' 2020 presidential contender.  Mr O'Rourke, a 47-year-old former congressman representing Texas, said it had become clear his campaign did not have the resources to continue to seek the party's nomination. "My service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee," he wrote on Twitter. "Acknowledging this now is in the best interests of those in the campaign; it is in the best interests of this party as we seek to unify around a nominee; and it is in the best interests of the country." Donald Trump immediately mocked him on Twitter, tweeting gleefully: "Oh no, Beto just dropped out of the race for president despite him saying he was 'born for this'. I don't think so!" Beto O'Rourke on the campaign trail Mr O'Rourke had been struggling to break through a crowded Democratic field. He entered the race in March with buzz from his narrow 2018 Senate loss to Republican incumbent Ted Cruz in Texas. But as the excitement over his candidacy began to fade, Mr O'Rourke was forced to stage a "reintroduction" of his campaign to reinvigorate it. After a mass shooting in his hometown of El Paso, Texas, he began to center his campaign on gun violence prevention. He failed to inspire confidence during the series of the Democrat debates, and performed remarkably poorly in the polls. His decision to pull out does come as something of a surprise, however, given that much lesser-known faces still remain in the contest.



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2020 Democrats: Biden slips, Beto quits, Warren answers critics

2020 Democrats: Biden slips, Beto quits, Warren answers criticsJoe Biden’s standing in the Democratic presidential nomination battle has slipped in Iowa against top rivals including Elizabeth Warren, the frontrunner in the early-voting state, who on Friday answered critics over how she will pay for her progressive policies. As the 2020 protagonists clashed, one of the lower-polling Democratic candidates who started the contest with considerable promise, ex-congressman Beto O’Rourke, announced he was quitting the race. O’Rourke’s exit provided the latest dynamic in the crowded race to see who will challenge US President Donald Trump in November 2020.



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Meghan McCain Spars With Cory Booker Over Civility: Beto Was ‘Very Nasty’ to Me!

Meghan McCain Spars With Cory Booker Over Civility: Beto Was ‘Very Nasty’ to Me!During a Wednesday interview with Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker, The View’s Meghan McCain did what she apparently does best: Make the conversation about herself and, in this case, her personal beef with a presidential hopeful.After applauding Booker for saying Medicare for All is unrealistic, the conservative View co-host took issue with the New Jersey senator’s support for mandatory gun buybacks. This then prompted McCain to lump Booker in with former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who has made buybacks a central focus of his campaign.“When I heard you and Beto say that, to me, that’s like a left-wing fever dream,” McCain said. “And I want to know how you think you and Beto are going to go to red states and go to my brother’s house and get his AR-15s because, let me tell you, he’s not giving it back.”Booker, meanwhile, asserted he is not nearly where O’Rourke is when it comes to gun buybacks, causing McCain to reply: “Good! Because he’s crazy!”“We should watch the way we talk about each other,” Booker shot back. “Seriously, we can’t tear the character of people down. We have different beliefs.”McCain, however, invoked her ongoing feud with the one-time Texas Senate candidate, complaining that O’Rourke “has no problem doing it to me.”“He was very nasty to me about this,” the ex-Fox News star lamented.Last month, reacting to McCain’s overt warning that gun buybacks would lead to “a lot of violence” from gun owners, O’Rourke said “that kind of language and rhetoric is not helpful” and it could become “self-fulfilling” and give permission to violence.“You and I both know that just because somebody does something to us, doesn’t mean we show the same thing back to them,” Booker responded to McCain, garnering audience applause.“I’m not running for president, with all due respect,” McCain snapped back. “And the way he talks about me inciting violence on this, I take very seriously and I speak for a lot of red state Americans whether he likes it or you like it or not, there’s a lot of Republicans you have to win over.”The New Jersey lawmaker reacted by telling McCain that her voice was one he respected before noting that “what we say about other people says more about us than it does about them.”Booker would then go on to relay an anecdote from the campaign trail in which he defused a voter’s call for violence against President Trump. McCain, meanwhile, brushed it aside and went back to pressing Booker on his buyback proposal and how he’s going to take her brother’s guns.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Beto O'Rourke 'open to the idea' of letting people use AR-15s, AK-47s at hunting clubs, gun ranges

Beto O'Rourke 'open to the idea' of letting people use AR-15s, AK-47s at hunting clubs, gun rangesBeto O'Rourke on Friday left the door open for allowing some people to keep assault-style weapons like AR-15s and AK-47s at gun ranges and hunting clubs.



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Beto O’Rourke Dunks on ‘Disgraced TV Host’ Bill O’Reilly

Beto O’Rourke Dunks on ‘Disgraced TV Host’ Bill O’ReillyBill O’Reilly, who was ousted by Fox News two-and-a-half years ago following decades of sexual-harassment allegations and payouts to victims, made a desperate bid for relevance this week when he decided to live-tweet the fourth Democratic presidential primary debate. Among O’Reilly’s insights were that he found the “Trump bashing festival” by the candidates “boring,” he wanted Joe Biden to “fight back” harder and that Elizabeth Warren “wants a wealth tax to pay for free stuff, lots of free stuff. Lots.” Later, he added, “The Democrats on the stage hate Turkey. The country, not the meal. They might be right.” Then came former Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s answer to a question about Warren’s wealth tax proposal. “I think it's part of the solution,” he said, before going on to accuse Senator Warren of being “more focused on being punitive and pitting some part of the country against the other instead of lifting people up and making sure that this country comes together around those solutions.” “I think of a woman that I met in Las Vegas, Nevada,” O’Rourke continued. “She's working four jobs, raising her child with disabilities, and any American with disabilities knows just how hard it is to make it and get by in this country already.” It was this anecdote that caught O’Reilly’s ear. He wasn’t buying it. “Beto says he met a woman working FOUR jobs,” he tweeted. “And raising a special needs child. I don’t believe him. Sorry.” The response from O’Rourke came with receipts. Along with a photo of the woman and her disabled daughter, he replied, “This is her. Her name is Gina. Her daughter's name is Summer. The problem with our economy is she has to live in her car—while a disgraced TV host like you makes millions.” O’Reilly, who at one point had enough money to shell out at least $ 32 million in sexual harassment settlements before Fox News finally decided to cut him loose, had nothing to say in response to that.But the tweet did get a response from health care expert and former Obama administration official Andy Slavitt, who tweeted, “I would invite @BillOReilly to get a real understanding of what life is like for many in the disability community or raising a special needs or chronically ill child. But that would be cruel to the people who’d have to meet him.” Stephen Colbert Takes Bill O’Reilly to Task Over His $ 32 Million Sexual-Harassment SettlementRead more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Pete Buttigieg Swats Down Beto O’Rourke on Guns: ‘I Don’t Need Lessons From You on Courage’

Pete Buttigieg Swats Down Beto O’Rourke on Guns: ‘I Don’t Need Lessons From You on Courage’Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke said on the debate stage Tuesday night that Americans who refuse to turn over banned semi automatic rifles under his mandatory gun buyback program would be met with unspecified “consequences,” a stance which drew major pushback from his fellow Democratic contenders.The Texas Democrat didn’t get into much more detail, but made clear that police will exercise force to confiscate weapons banned under his plan, the most sweeping gun control proposal offered by any Democratic presidential candidate.“If someone does not turn in an AR-15 or an AK-47…then that weapon will be taken from them,” O’Rourke said. “If they persist, there will be other consequences."Every candidate who addressed the issue on Tuesday evening supported additional restrictions on the sale of so-called assault weapons, but none went as far as O’Rourke. And his proposal prompted a harsh rebuke from others, especially South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.“Congressman, you just made it clear you don’t know how this is actually going to take weapons off the streets,” he told O’Rourke. “I don’t need lessons from you on courage, political or personal. The problem is not other Democrats who don’t agree with your particular idea of how to handle this. The problem is the National Rifle Association and their enablers in Congress, and we should be united in taking the fight to them.”That drew a heated response from O’Rourke, who accused Buttigieg of minimizing the problem of gun violence and the toll it’s taken on victims of mass-casualty shootings.“When you, mayor, describe this policy as a shiny object, I don’t care what that meant to me or my candidacy,” O’Rourke shot back. “But to those who have survived gun violence, those who have lost a loved one to an AR-15 or an AK-47, marched for our lives, formed in the courage of students willing to stand up to the NRA and conventional politicians and poll-tested politicians, that was a slap in the fact to every one of those groups and every survivor of a mass casualty assault.”O’Rourke’s proposal would likely require a massive police mobilization to enforce the confiscation of millions of firearms targeted by the plan. And that raised concerns for other candidates on the stage.“In the place I grew up in, we weren't exactly looking for more reasons for cops to come show up at the door,” said Julian Castro, the former secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. “I am not going to give these police officers another reason to go door to door in these communities.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Sasse Condemns Beto O’Rourke’s ‘Bigoted’ Call to Strip Churches of Tax Exempt Status

Sasse Condemns Beto O’Rourke’s ‘Bigoted’ Call to Strip Churches of Tax Exempt StatusSenator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) released a statement Friday condemning Beto O'Rourke for "extreme intolerance" after O'Rourke advocated revoking tax-exempt status from churches that refuse to perform same-sex marriages."This bigoted nonsense would target a lot of sincere Christians, Jews, and Muslims," wrote Sasse. "Leaders from both parties have a duty to flatly condemn this attack on very basic American freedoms.""This extreme intolerance is un-American," Sasse went on. "The whole point of the First Amendment is that…everyone is created with dignity and we don't use government power to decide which religious beliefs are legitimate and which aren't."O'Rourke touted his LGBT rights platform at a CNN town hall event on Thursday, telling the crowd he supported removing tax-exempt status from churches, religious schools, and charities if they are against same-sex marriages."There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone … that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us,” O'Rourke told the audience.O'Rourke previously drew condemnation from conservatives after pledging at the third Democratic primary debate to confiscate semi-automatic rifles from their legal owners. O'Rourke is currently polling nationally at just below two percent of the Democratic vote.Meanwhile on Thursday, Senator Elizabeth Warren released her own LGBT rights platform in which she promises to provide government funding for gender transition surgeries for inmates. In addition, she pledged to incarcerate transgender inmates with prisoners of the opposite biological sex, meaning that a transgender man would be placed in a women's prison.



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