by Tim Pearce
Texas Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke was asked at a CNN Town Hall Thursday night what he’d tell Texans who claim he’s “selfish” with his campaign money “at the expense of the Democratic Party.”
O’Rourke, who is running to unseat incumbent U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, raised a record-setting amount of money in the third quarter of 2018 — nearly $40 million. With election day on Nov. 6 less than 20 days away, O’Rourke has dropped behind Cruz in polling data by high single digits.
“I’ve seen a lot of publicity recently about the $63 million your campaign has raised. It’s amazing,” an audience member told O’Rourke.
“My question is, what would you tell Texans who think you’re being selfish with your political campaign money at the expense of the Democratic Party, and what will you be doing with the millions your campaign has raised to ensure a strong Democratic turnout in competitive races?”
O’Rourke began his answer telling the audience that Texas has not elected a Democratic U.S. senator in three decades. To break that streak, every dollar must go toward making sure every Texan hears his campaign message, he said.
“I want to make sure that we spare no expense, use every possible resource to make sure that we reach every single person,” O’Rourke said.
O’Rourke relayed the story of one $10 donation.
“Last week, I was in McKinney, Texas, and I met a young woman — 25 years old — who was on her way to her shift at Whataburger. She gave me a $10 donation, and she said, ‘I’m giving this to you because I want you to win. I’m giving this to you because I had a significant medical condition from which I’m recovering. It’s been very hard to get insurance to afford to see that doctor. I’m going to work at Whataburger right now to put myself through school so I can have a better job going forward,’” O’Rourke said.
“I don’t want to take her $10 and give it to another candidate in another state or another race here in Texas if she gave it to me to pursue the goals that we have in common,” O’Rourke added.
He finished reasserting the importance of the upcoming midterms.
“This is the election of our lifetimes. The future and the fortunes and the fate not just of Texas, but I would argue this country hinges on our ability to be successful when we turn out to the polls on the 22nd of October, the first day of early voting, and Nov. 6, Election Day. So I want to make sure we not only run this in the right way, but we win this in the right way,” O’Rourke concluded.
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