Texas newspaper that endorsed Beto O’Rourke over Ted Cruz pleads with the 2020 Democrat to drop out – Washington Examiner
A Texas paper that endorsed Beto O’Rourke last year in his failed bid to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz has some advice for the 2020 Democratic primary candidate: Pack it up. Make yourself useful elsewhere.
“Beto, if you’re listening: Come home. Drop out of the race for president and come back to Texas to run for senator. The chances of winning the race you’re in now are vanishingly small. And Texas needs you,” says the Houston Chronicle’s editorial board.
They added, “Two years ago, you ran an inspiring race against Sen. Ted Cruz. Sure, you lost. No shame in that. Texas hasn’t elected a Democrat to a statewide office since 1994. You chipped away at a wall that wasn’t quite ready to come down. You showed it’s possible.”
Part of the Houston Chronicle’s reason for calling on O’Rourke to bow out of the 2020 Democratic primary stems from its favorable opinion of his response to last week’s deadly shooting in El Paso, Texas.
The former congressman was asked by a reporter whether he believes President Trump can do something to de-escalate anti-illegal immigrant fervor. “Um, what do you think?” O’Rourke answered. “You know the shit he’s been saying. He’s been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. I don’t know. … Like, members of the press — what the f–k? It’s these questions that you know the answers to.”
The Houston Chronicle was moved by this response.
“Is that language presidential? Not normally. It certainly isn’t the normal fare for an editorial page in the Sunday paper, either, with or without the asterisks,” its editorial board writes. “But it struck us as so unscripted, so unexpected that its offense was somehow washed away.”
They add, “Frankly, it’s made us wish O’Rourke would shift gears, and rather than unpause his presidential campaign, we’d like to see him take a new direction.”
That new direction, by the way, is for the former congressman to bail on the Democratic primary so that he can challenge Republican Sen. John Cornyn.
“Would you beat John Cornyn, who is seeking his fourth term? It wouldn’t be easy. You’d have to fight for it, and do better than you did against Cruz. But a lot has changed since 2018 — you had a lot to do with that — and Trump is no longer rock-solid in Texas. Neither are the Republicans who support him,” the paper explains.
They continue, arguing that O’Rourke, who is rather thin on policy proposals, would help Texas “get smarter, and its politics more sophisticated,” if he were to challenge Cornyn.
“So please,” the Houston Chronicle editorial board concludes, “Beto, after you’ve taken some time to mourn the dead in El Paso, consider whether now is a good time to leave one race and join another. Texas needs you back home.”
In 2018, the Houston Chronicle endorsed O’Rourke over Cruz, arguing the former’s “command of issues that matter to this state, his unaffected eloquence and his eagerness to reach out to all Texans” made him “one of the most impressive candidates this editorial board has encountered in many years.”
And that is the real reason for the Houston Chronicle’s editorial: Even the paper that claimed last year that O’Rourke was one of the brightest stars it had encountered in a long while can see that he has zero shot of success in the 2020 Democratic primary. He is going down in flames and it’s a bad choice for his political career. Save yourself while you can, the paper is practically screaming. But perhaps O’Rourke is too vain to see the writing on the wall.