Monday, 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke made his first appearance in the Buckeye State. It’s safe to say that the former congressman was hoping the visit could shake off what has been somewhat of a mixed campaign rollout.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) Spokesperson Mandi Merritt was quick to note that:
It’s been a rough few days for 2020 candidate Beto O’Rourke. From his campaign turning into an apology tour less than 48 hours after announcing, to flip-flopping on the issues and his past GOP ties, O’Rourke is going to have a tough time living up to his party’s litmus tests and convincing the progressive base that he should be their nominee.
While the RNC has made their feelings about Beto’s presidential campaign clear, the onetime Senate candidate has now earned bipartisan criticism.
Within the first few days of announcing his campaign, Beto committed a litany of gaffes, political faux pas, and some minor scandals. His campaign announcement coincided with what was intended to be a glowing Vanity Fair cover story about his intent to run. He stated “I’m just born to be in it,” which was met with widespread criticism from progressive opinion leaders, accusing him of abusing his “privilege.” Many criticized the media for sexist coverage, as he received a far more positive media reception for his campaign than any female candidate. The story also details some unusual interactions with his children in which his daughter stated: “Dad, if you run for president, I’m going to cry all day.” This quote, conjoined with his statements in Iowa that “My wife raises their kids, ‘sometimes with my help,” led many within his own party to accuse him of outright sexism for which he apologized.
While there were several other minor gaffes, the most egregious scandal was the revelation that, as a teenager, was a prominent member of the “Cult of the Dead Cow” hacker group. The hacker team became infamous for controversial writings, stealing credit cards, hacking into computers, stealing copyrighted media content, and other minor crimes. The most egregious was the revelation that he writes what is described as a “murder fantasy.” The story featured him behind the wheel of a car, fantasizing plowing into a pair if children. He wrote:
As I neared the young ones, I put all my weight on my right foot, keeping the accelerator pedal on the floor until I heard the crashing of the two children on the hood, and then the sharp cry of pain from one of the two…
He apologized for these stories and expressed that he was mortified to have ever written them.
As arriving in Cleveland, O’Rourke celebrated his record fundraising numbers while meeting supporters in Brooklyn Centre. It appears that the young former congressman’s biggest hurdle won’t be winning over Trump’s supporters, but maintaining his own democratic supporters.
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