SAN ANGELO, TX – Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke made a stop in San Angelo on Tuesday and promised transparency. Unfortunately, that promise was unfulfilled.
As previously reported, on Nov. 16, the day after he announced he was running for Texas Governor, Beto's press team posted the full schedule of Beto first tour across Texas. San Angelo was left off of that list.
After the article was posted, Beto's team, with the help of local attorney Guy Choate, set up an event at a venue in the 200 block of N. Chadbourne. The entirety of the local media was invited to the event except for San Angelo LIVE!
We went anyway.
Originally planned to be an outside event in the adjoining parking lot, campaign organizers decided at the last minute to cram all of the fawning Democrats into the small downtown storefront building. Of the 60-70 people who walked inside, maybe 10 were wearing a mask. Beto campaign organizers were efficient to ask everyone for their mobile number and email address. No one was asked about their vaccination status. In fact, so few precautions for Covid-19 were taken that the event could have been confused with a right wing Tea Party confab.
Once inside, the lighting was perfect and the maskless crowd, as crammed in as tight as possible, appeared much larger. This is a typical campaign trick to enhance optics.
Beto gave a speech peppered with typical Democrat talking points about how he plans on winning the governor's race. He led with old news, condemning the Republicans for not accepting the Medicaid expansion during the Obamacare rollout 10 years ago. He claimed the refusal has cost Texas billions in unfunded (by the feds) Medicaid expenses. He praised teachers and claimed they were underpaid. Beto shot at two of the most expensive state expenses, Medicaid and K-12 education, and said if opponent Governor Greg Abbott had spent more money on these items, Republicans could have lowered everyone's property taxes. He didn't recognize the major Republican property tax reform in 2019 that drastically lowered school district property taxes. Then, Beto emphasized on how divided the state is and how voices on both sides need to learn how to come together.
"I want to make sure that we recognized that it is okay and absolutely necessary in a democracy to have a difference of opinion," said Beto. "To be able to share them respectfully, I hope, and with the dignity owed to this great democracy." San Angelo LIVE! did not get the quote on video because Beto's press team refused to let San Angelo LIVE! record.
Outside, only a handful of protestors were present. There were three, in fact. Two with a small bullhorn and a woman unaffiliated with the others who promised to honk her car horn when Beto began speaking.
After the completion of the event, San Angelo LIVE!'s Matt Trammell stopped O'Rourke on his way to to a meet and greet to ask a question about gun control. During O'Rourke's failed presidential run, he promised to confiscate assault-style guns. "Hell, yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47," O'Rourke promised in Oct. 2019. Many believe this is a violation of the Second Amendment.
Trammell: "Excuse me Mr. O'Rourke, has anything changed with your stance on the Second Amendment?"
O'Rourke: "No. I think that we need to protect the second amendment. I think we need to honor the traditions that we have in Texas in responsible gun ownership. I think we need to be smart on gun policies so we protect the rights of our citizens."