Beto O’Rourke Puts Distance Between Himself, Biden In Texas Gubernatorial Bid

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As President Joe Biden’s approval numbers continue to tank and more Americans begin blaming him and his administration for several things including rising inflation and continued shortages due to supply chain issues, more Democrats are keeping him at arm’s length as they campaign for office next year.

That includes one of his rivals for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination: Robert Frances “Beto” O’Rourke.

After losing a bid for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz (R) and failing to gain much traction during his presidential bid, O’Rourke is now angling to challenge Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. But he’s not going to rely on Biden to help him unseat the Republican incumbent.

During an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash, O’Rourke responded to the host’s comment that Biden is only polling around 35 percent in the Lone Star State by saying the race is about Texas, no one else.

“This campaign in Texas is not going to be about Joe Biden. It’s not going to be about Donald Trump. It’s not going to be about anyone from outside of our state,” O’Rourke said.

“This is going to be about the people of Texas and what the people of Texas want. And I have told you, they want the big things, like jobs, great schools, and making sure everyone can see a doctor. But they also want to see some competence in their government.” he added.

O’Rourke also separated himself from Biden over the issue of illegal immigration, which is a major problem in Texas because of its lengthy border with Mexico.

“I don’t need to tell you a big issue in your state is immigration,” Bash said. “There were a record number of apprehensions at the Southern border this past year, nearly 1.7 million arrests. You said this week that President Biden could — quote — “do a better job” at the border. Do you think his policies are contributing to surges there?” Bash asked.

“I don’t think we have seen enough urgency when it comes to rewriting our immigration laws to match the needs and the reality that we see, especially in our border communities,” he said, adding:

As I listen to those who live on the border — and, as you know, Dana, my wife and I are raising our kids on the border here in El Paso — we want to make sure that we have the resources to meet some of the challenges that we have. We also want to make sure that the laws that we have on the books are improved to meet some of the reality that we see in our communities.

So, yes, we expect more of our president and those who represent us in Congress, but we also expect more of our governor, who’s using the border right now as a photo opportunity, scapegoating and vilifying immigrants, asking Texans to — quote — “defend themselves” and take matters into their own hands from this invasion, as he describes it.

That’s the kind of dangerous rhetoric that inspired that gunman more than two years ago to come to Texas and kill people, claiming that he was defending this state from an invasion of Hispanics who were coming to take over.

So, we have got to be more responsible. And we have got to be more responsive to what we see happening on the ground right now in Texas. As governor, I’m going to listen to those who understand this issue better than anyone else, the people of the U.S.-Mexico border.

He was also asked about his infamous comment during his unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination about taking away popular semi-automatic rifles like AR-15s.

“I still hold this view,” O’Rourke said.

Good luck then, Beto. And if Biden was polling better in Texas, it’s a lot more likely you’d be seeking his assistance.

 

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