The Real Beto O'Rourke

I recently attended an indoor Beto O'Rourke rally in Corpus Christi, Texas in the Richardson Auditorium on the Del Mar College campus. Arriving 45 minutes late (after meeting for 15 minutes with fawning press backstage), he was introduced by Congressman Joe Kennedy. O'Rourke bizarrely rolled onto the stage on a skateboard (he had done this in an earlier rally in Brownsville) and spoke for 30 minutes. 

O’Rourke called for essentially open borders and free health care. He attacked Trump along with his senatorial election opponent, incumbent Texas Senator Ted Cruz, but there was no mention of his previous statement approving of disrespect for the flag,which Cruz and others had pounced on. O'Rourke appeared awkward and thin and was constantly flailing his hands and arms.

I noticed something rather unsettling. I was only sitting ten feet away from O'Rourke. The temperature outside was a near perfect 78 degrees, and the hall itself, which is kept at 72 degrees, seemed chilly. The stage lights are 20 feet above the stage. But just minutes into O'Rourke's speech, sweat began to pour down his face and spread across the front of his shirt. In his introduction, Joe Kennedy had said of O'Rourke that "he sweats a lot," and the local Caller-Times, in what was basically an advocacy article, showed pictures of O'Rourke before and after the speech both dry and drenched in perspiration.

If one googles "Beto sweat" there are several articles from websites both left and right that make reference to it. The primary causes of cold sweats are said to be anxiety and stress.

He quickly exited after his speech and took no questions from the audience, but what I had wanted to ask O'Rourke about was his arrest record and some of his inconsistent statements concerning it. In 1995, he graduated from Columbia University in New York. He then went by "Rob" and had a degree in English literature, and among other things, was known for scolding other students for smoking cigarettes while constantly using marijuana (of which he now avidly supports federal decriminalization).  

Days after the commencement, on the campus of the University of El Paso (UTEP) with two other men, he was arrested for attempting to burglarize a building. The charges were dismissed the next year, but at the time of the incident, even though he had already left college and never attended UTEP, he consistently has called it a "college prank,” which had happened “during his college years.” I attempted to locate the two other “pranksters,” one of whom apparently still lives in El Paso, to no avail.  

Then there is the more serious issue of his arrest for DWI in 1998. O'Rourke has always described it as a "mistake for which there is no excuse." But in late August, the Houston Chronicle as well as the San Antonio Express News obtained the arrest report, and the Chronicle found that the incident was "a more serious threat to public safety than has been previously reported."

The police report showed that in the early morning hours of September 27, O'Rourke was traveling -n a 75 mile an hour zone on Interstate 10 in Anthony, Texas, about 20 miles west of El Paso. He passed another motorist, who was also headed west, and then lost control and collided with a truck. The impact sent O'Rourke's Volvo over the grassy median and he ended up on the eastbound side. The motorist that O'Rourke had passed on the westbound side also crossed over to the other side and began to pursue the fleeing O'Rourke. He began to flash his lights and honk to try to get O'Rourke to stop as well as warn other vehicles, and then he finally was able to impede O'Rourke.

Arresting officer Richard Carrera spoke to the motorist first and then approached O'Rourke, who was obviously intoxicated and failed several sobriety tests. Carrera placed O'Rourke under arrest and he was transported to a police substation in west El Paso. During his interview, O'Rourke claimed to have had only two beers. He agreed to take a breathalyzer and the readings showed .136 and .134 of blood alcohol content, far above intoxication levels.

For O'Rourke's reported size and weight, he would have had at least six beers. He was then taken before a judge and later booked into the county jail. The bond was placed at $1,500 and O'Rourke made bail the next day. The charges were dismissed after O'Rourke completed a court-appointed diversion program.

Carrera filed two reports, one with the Anthony Police Department and another with the State of Texas and El Paso County. The only thing that is unclear is the direction on the interstate O'Rourke had used to flee. In both reports, Carrera wrote that when O'Rourke landed on the eastbound side, he was also pointed east. If he continued to flee in that direction, he would have been going the wrong way down I-10. The witness/reporter who had chased O'Rourke and forced him to stop is unnamed and Officer Carrera cannot be located. 

But what is clear is that O'Rourke fled the scene. During a debate with Ted Cruz in September a few weeks after the arrest record became public, the moderator asked O'Rourke if he had fled the scene. "I did not try to leave the scene of the accident, though driving drunk, which is a terrible mistake for which there is no excuse or justification or defense." Then he returned to his familiar stance before the more serious details recently became known. "I can tell you that I was able to have a second chance in life." O'Rourke then awkwardly pivoted to make the issue about racial justice. "What I do know is that as a white man in this country, there is a privilege that I enjoy that many African-American men and women do not." 

Days later, Glenn Kessler, the Fact Checker of the Washington Post, gave O'Rourke the lowest rating of “Four Pinocchios,” which qualifies as a "whopper."

A few days later, O'Rourke did a friendly interview of over an hour with Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith. When Smith asked if he had fled the scene of the accident, O'Rourke said, "I did not flee. The police report on this count is wrong." Then O'Rourke added that, "I reached out to the passenger who was in the car I was driving who does not appear in the police report, among other factual errors, somebody that I've not spoken to in more than 15 years, and asked her recollection of that evening. She said, "No, we were in the median of the road. We did not try to flee.'"

Smith did not follow up and ask who the mystery passenger was. I recently contacted the O'Rourke campaign as to her identity but have received no response. It should be noted that none of the police reports mentioned another passenger. But the reports did mention that there was another passenger with the witness/reporter who was able to chase down and stop O'Rourke.

Currently, O'Rourke has raised 38 million dollars, much of it from out of state. But Cruz continues to gain in the polls. Other Democrats in closer races were asked if they could share in the funds. “No,” O’Rourke said. “I'm focused on Texas. Most of our contributions have come from Texas." Actually, much of the money comes from ActBlue, which raises money almost entirely from out of state. 

At the second and final debate last week, O'Rourke awkwardly called Cruz "Lyin' Ted" the moniker that Donald Trump had previously bestowed upon him, and the campaign followed up with attack ads, something that O'Rourke said he would never do. At a recent town hall on CNN, O'Rourke reiterated that he would vote to impeach Donald Trump, putting him in the same category as the angry Maxine Waters.

O'Rourke is not only being misleading about his past, but is a man of the far left who would not be able to win statewide elections through most of the country. It seems that no matter how much fawning press coverage and millions of dollars flow in from elsewhere, O'Rourke will lose, and probably by a significant margin. "Betomania" is all hype. To coin a current phrase from urban America, O'Rourke "ain't all that."

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