Beto O'Rourke

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Beto O'Rourke in 2019

Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke (September 26, 1972) is an American politician who represented Texas's 16th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 2013 to 2019. O'Rourke is best known for his 2018 campaign for U.S. Senate, which he lost to Republican incumbent Ted Cruz. He sought the 2020 Democratic nomination for President of the United States, which he abandoned before the primaries.



  • Everyone should deserve that next chance to improve their lives, to contribute to their communities, to do better, and if my own personal experience serves as some form of motivation… then there will be some good that has come out of it.
  • He absolutely loved life and loved people and his family and gave it everything that he could. He was always so focused on doing what he thought was important or the right thing, and there was a joy that came out of that. I wish I could find my own and I seek to do that.
    • Beto O'Rourke. (2017). One-on-One with Evan Smith of Texas Tribune #TribFest17 [video]. Austin, Texas: Facebook. A tearful answer to the question "What’s the thing you take away from [Pat O'Rourke's, Beto's father,] life as a public servant?” during an interview with the Texas Tribune
  • Ted Cruz doesn’t have an office anywhere near El Paso. John Cornyn doesn’t have an office anywhere near El Paso. Presidential candidates don’t come to El Paso. Gubernatorial candidates don’t come to El Paso. People who are focused on power don’t come to El Paso. And I was saying that in front of the crowd in Tex­arkana, and this lady in front of the crowd said, "That’s how I feel!" That’s how a lot of Texas feels—they feel forgotten, left behind, unrepresented, unimportant to the centers of power and the system as it currently works. It doesn’t work for them. A lot of the state feels like El Paso feels, and a lot of the state wants their state back and wants to be recognized and represented and served. I think this campaign is all about that.


  • No necesitamos el muro. Si queremos asegurar nuestras comunidades, necesitamos tratar gente con respeto y dignidad. El ejemplo es el ciudad de El Paso donde nací, donde crecí, donde están mis hijos en las mismas escuelas donde yo estaba. Somos una de las comunidades más seguras de los Estados Unidos ahora, y no necesitamos un muro. No necesitamos la Guardia Nacional. Necesitamos reflejar la fortaleza de nuestras comunidades, incluyendo los inmigrantes.
    • Translation: We don't need the wall. If we want to secure our communities, we need to treat people with respect and dignity. The example is the city of El Paso where I was born, where I grew up, where my children are in the same schools where I was. We are one of the safest communities in the United States now, and we don't need a wall. We don't need the National Guard. We need to reflect the strength of our communities, including immigrants.
    • Beto O'Rourke. (2018). Entrevista con Jorge Ramos [video]. Laredo, Texas: Facebook. From an interview with Jorge Ramos with CNN, in response to whether or not Texas needs a border wall with Mexico (quote begins at 1:30)
  • All of you, showing the country how you do this. I'm so fucking proud of you guys.
    • Beto O'Rourke. (November 7, 2018). Election Night [video]. El Paso, Texas: Facebook. From 2018 Senate campaign concession speech (quote begins at 12:16)


Quotes about O'Rourke[edit]

  • Former Congressmember O'Rourke voted for 20 out of 29 military spending bills (69%) since 2013...Peace Action... [noted his] votes opposing specific cuts in the military budget... he voted for an 11th aircraft-carrier in 2015, and against an overall 1% cut in the military budget in 2016. He voted against reducing the number of U.S. troops in Europe in 2013 and he twice voted against placing limits on a Navy slush fund. O'Rourke was a member of the House Armed Services Committee, and he took in $111,210 from the "defense" industry for his Senate campaign, more than any other Democratic presidential candidate.
    Despite an obvious affinity with military-industrial interests, of which there are many throughout Texas, O'Rourke has not highlighted foreign or military policy in his Senate or presidential campaigns, suggesting that this is something he would like to downplay. In Congress, he was a member of the corporate New Democrat Coalition that progressives see as a tool of plutocratic and corporate interests.
  • Let us be clear: This isn’t a matter of policy differences. This man is a boob, a dolt. He is vulgar and ungrammatical, knows nothing, and makes no sense. He can’t keep his mouth shut for five seconds and he is wired like an early helicopter with a vertical rotor on its tail: he can’t gabble out his nonsense without waving his arms around. He knows everything, meaning nothing, is incapable of making a correct factual statement, and throws in the f-word for emphasis, even where there is nothing to emphasize. Yet he is performing a valuable role: This is the candidate the media have been looking for.
  • All of the Democratic candidates and the entire political process are being taken over and occupied by the invasion of the whole public space by Robert Francis O’Rourke. No one has ever heard or seen anything like this candidate: a hyperactive limb-flailing imbecile, babbling compulsively in a torrent of extremist nonsense barely couched in comprehensible syntax.
  • Beto voted against his own party to pass GOP bills for business tax cuts, Wall St dereg, Trump’s deportation force, and chipping away at the ACA. It’s your right to argue thats totally OK — but let’s not use vague averages to obscure what his specific votes were about.
  • For weeks, Beto fans have attacked our reporting in an effort to intimidate journalists into not looking into his record. But now the Houston Chronicle is citing our reporting for having prompted a much needed debate about climate policy & his record.
  • Well-informed public discussion is a major hazard for Democratic Party elites now eager to prevent Bernie Sanders from winning the 2020 presidential nomination. In recent weeks, Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke has become a lightning rod in a gathering political storm— largely because of the vast hype about him from mass media and Democratic power brokers. At such times, when spin goes into overdrive, we need incisive factual information.

External links[edit]

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