Politics this weekend: Live updates – CNN
At a campaign stop in Polk City, Iowa, two girls asked 2020 candidate Beto O’Rourke how he would guarantee that all children had access to adequate food and water.
“It makes me sad that some kids don’t have enough to eat,” a five-year-old girl named Leyla told O’Rourke. “If you are president, how will you make sure that all kids have food?”
O’Rourke thanked her for the question, saying, “Thank you Leyla, and thank you for caring about other kids.”
“We’re going to make sure that they get the help they need, the food they deserve, because you asked a great question,” he added, before going on to call for SNAP reform and increased salaries for teachers.
The second child, an 8-year-old girl named Morgan wearing a Beatles t-shirt, told O’Rourke that she had learned during a school project that roughly 740 million people worldwide lack clean water access.
“Some of those people are … in places in our country right now, Flint, Michigan, mostly, so what do you think we should do so kids like me can have clean water access in our country?” she asked, referencing the city’s contaminated drinking water crisis.
O’Rourke replied, “Thank you, Morgan, for being here, I share both your concern and your love of the Beatles,” adding that while campaigning in Texas, he had been concerned to learn that nearly 50 of the state’s water systems were unsafe to drink from.
“This is a problem we see all over the country,” O’Rourke added. “And it has something to do with the way we extract resources out of the ground, the way that we treat our soil, the fact that we have an administration where the leaders of the EPA and the Interior Department do not believe in the functions they oversee, and prioritize corporations and those who want to extract over people who will eat what comes out of the soil, drink what flows through their community, breathe what is in the air.”
He also referenced Flint saying, “some communities that have born the brunt of the climate change we have already seen, the pollution that we are already emitting, more than others, who have rates of MS or cancer or asthma that are far greater than other parts of the country.”
“So you’re so right to bring this up,” he added, “because it’s literally a life or death issue for our fellow Americans, our fellow human beings on this planet.”