Beto O'Rourke withdraws from Democratic race to face Trump

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Beto O'Rourke withdraws from Democratic race to face Trump

Post by JAF » Sat Nov 02, 2019 10:56 am

*Former El Paso congressman announces primary exit
*Promises focus on key issues, reportedly will not target Senate

Martin Pengelly THE GUARDIAN https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... ratic-race

Beto O’Rourke has withdrawn from the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

In a Medium post and a series of tweets on Friday afternoon, the former congressman from El Paso said: “Our campaign has always been about seeing clearly, speaking honestly, and acting decisively.



“In that spirit: I am announcing that my service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee.”

He later spoke directly to the public, via a live broadcast on Twitter.

O’Rourke rose to national prominence with a strong performance in a 2018 US Senate race against the Republican incumbent Ted Cruz, a contest he lost narrowly.

He parlayed that run into a presidential bid which started strongly, as donors and voters were drawn to his unconventional background and energetic campaigning style.

Born Robert Francis O’Rourke to a solidly Irish American family, he nonetheless had a Hispanic nickname and a past including arrests and membership of a punk band which helped him stand out in a historically large and diverse Democratic field. His three terms in Congress as a rare Texas Democrat and his habit of giving speeches while standing on tables were celebrated, before the latter tactic began to be roundly mocked.

O’Rourke soon experienced very public misfires, including a Vanity Fair article and photoshoot in which he said he was “born to be in” the race and controversy over a joke about his wife, Amy, raising his children without him. Such reverses led to a public apology for his white male privilege and he never made a serious impression on the polls or in the crowded debates.

Some of O’Rourke’s policy plans, such as an assault-weapon buyback meant to stop mass shootings such as that which killed 22 people in his home town in August, were popular with liberals but prompted ferocious criticism from Republicans in his home state and on the national stage.

On Friday Donald Trump, en route to a rally in Mississippi which he initially mistakenly tweeted would be in Louisiana, issued a tweet which mocked O’Rourke in surprisingly muted tones.

“Oh no,” the president wrote, “Beto just dropped out of race for president despite him saying he was ‘born for this’. I don’t think so!”

O’Rourke thanked his volunteers and supporters and said: “Let us continue to fearlessly champion the issues and causes that brought us together. Whether it is ending the epidemic of gun violence or dismantling structural racism or successfully confronting climate change, we will continue to organize and mobilize and act.”

He said he would support the eventual nominee “in defeating Donald Trump in 2020”.

The current frontrunners in the still-unwieldy field are former vice-president Joe Biden, the US senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

O’Rourke has consistently polled ahead of the likes of the US senators Amy Klobuchar and Cory Booker, the pro-impeachment billionaire Tom Steyer and the former federal housing secretary Julián Castro. They all remain in the race.

Candidates including Warren and Sanders were quick to send O’Rourke on his way with tweeted expressions of thanks. Most concentrated on his advocacy for gun control reform.

Castro, who attacked O’Rourke on the debate stage on immigration, a key part of the former congressman’s platform given his home in the border city of El Paso, said his opponent “inspired millions of Americans … and rallied Texans and El Pasoans after the tragedy that struck his hometown”.

Kamala Harris, the California senator whose own campaign has refused to catch fire after a strong start, thanked O’Rourke on Twitter “for always speaking from the heart. Your passion for your community and conviction to create a future free from gun violence have enriched this campaign and shown us the leader you are.”

At 47, O’Rourke seemed to many to have a long political future, perhaps focused on the next Texas US Senate race, against the senior Republican John Cornyn. But on Friday an aide told the New York Times O’Rourke would not mount another run.

That perhaps reflected a realisation that the former congressman reached too far by targeting the White House too soon. That is certainly a view held by many of O’Rourke’s critics, that as the Daily Beast put it: “Reacting to losing to Ted Cruz by running for president is like failing to land a role in a community theatre production and deciding to take your talents to Broadway.”

In a statement, the Texas Democratic party chair, Gilberto Hinojosa, called O’Rourke “a fighter, advocate and leader”.

“In the wake of the El Paso shootings,” he said, “he made the entire country proud as he focused his campaign on ending gun violence and the rise of white supremacy. We thank him for his service and leadership. He made Texas proud.

“Beto O’Rourke has done amazing things for the Democratic party in Texas, and we look forward to his future.”



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Re: Beto O'Rourke withdraws from Democratic race to face Trump

Post by Z is for Zangie » Sat Nov 02, 2019 2:10 pm

HUH..didn't see that one coming, at least not yet

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Re: Beto O'Rourke withdraws from Democratic race to face Trump

Post by DarkSide of the Moon » Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:51 pm

He just never struck me as Presidential material. I see him as more as a Congressman if anything.

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Re: Beto O'Rourke withdraws from Democratic race to face Trump

Post by Eryk » Sat Nov 02, 2019 8:04 pm

Beto explicitly said he wants to remove tax exempt status to churches who don’t allow gays to marry and he explicitly said that he wants to forcefully confíscate assault weapons. I know America has moved somewhat left but he severely miscalculated just how much. Democrats who show up at rally’s will cheer but most Americans, right or left, don’t want to overturn the free exercise clause and they don’t want law enforcement knocking on people’s doors to take their guns.

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Re: Beto O'Rourke withdraws from Democratic race to face Trump

Post by JAF » Sat Nov 02, 2019 8:34 pm

Z is for Zangie wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 2:10 pm
HUH..didn't see that one coming, at least not yet
We should start seeing a few more drop out now, it's about that time.

Imagine what could be done with the proceeds of all that fundraising... So much money goes into this thing that looks like a reality competition from the outside.

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Re: Beto O'Rourke withdraws from Democratic race to face Trump

Post by eponymousbosch?^ » Sun Nov 03, 2019 7:27 pm

Z is for Zangie wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 2:10 pm
HUH..didn't see that one coming, at least not yet
I almost hate to say this, but O'Rourke seems to me to be the White Barrack O'bama……..

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