Did Democrat Beto O’Rourke blow both his own political feet off before the race for Texas governor had even begun?

Conventional wisdom argues he did, first with the famous, infamous, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47” comment during a 2019 presidential debate and more recently by doubling down on that stance as he takes aim at Greg Abbott and the governor’s office.

Michael A. Smith: 409-683-5206; michael.smith@galvnews.com​.


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(66) comments

Ed Buckner

Well thought out and argued, Mr. Smith. If i lived in TX now, I'd very likely be supporting O'Rourke, and I generally agree with him on gun control. But his approach to it has been incendiary and likely politically unwise. Some on all sides of all issues are beyond the reach of conversation--but honest attempts to seriously debate matters are our only hope.

Ron Woody


Serious debate is not possible without honesty. As long as media is willing to lie to enhance the divide, nothing gets accomplished.

Ron Woody

While I agree with Mr. Smith that there is a middle ground for a discussion on gun control, using Mr. O'Rourke as the impetus for this discussion is hardly a place to start.

We are talking about someone that spent $70 million to lose in 2016 and another $20 million in 2020 on a campaign that he knew was going nowhere.

Why do journalists that harangue (?) on the narcissism of candidates they don't like fail to recognize it in those whose ideas they may support. Sending money to Mr. O'Rourke or wasting what I believe is valuable column space is a waste. In fact I may actually be embarassed I am commenting.

I may actually believe Mr. West is more conservatively sound than Governor Abbott, but it is a futile uphill battle to believe anyone but the current Governor will win.

While Mr. O'Rourke is not my "cup of tea", he is someone with means that could truly make a difference in people's lives, just not as an elected official on a Statewide or national level.

What could Mr. O'Rourke have done with $100 million in the non-profit or commercial space. We will never know because he used it to feed his significant ego.

Don Schlessinger


David Hardee

How Mr. Smith's article presented a through and thought provoking recitation for his readers then prompted Mr. Woody's crisply insight to the character of O'Rourke is a illustration of the best purposes of mass media and its wonderful impact as the guardian against power of government and exposure of those would be candidates.

The tradition and duty of the 4th Estate personified, and a blessing in todays atmosphere.

Carlos Ponce

In that 2019 poll:


Field Dates: October 18-27, 2019

N=1200 Adults

Margin of error: +/- 2.83% (3.28% adjusted for weighting) unless otherwise noted

Q31. Do you support or oppose banning the sale of selected semi-automatic rifles, often referred to as assault weapons?

1. Strongly support 47%

2. Somewhat support 12

3. Somewhat oppose 8

4. Strongly oppose 25

5. Don’t know/No opinion 8

[Note: Texas has no legal definition of an "assault weapon" (see: https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.46.htm). Referring to semi-automatics as assault weapons may have skewed the results.When people hear "assault weapon" they think of weapons used only to attack or kill other people.]

PID3. Generally speaking, would you say that you usually think of yourself as a...

1. Democrat 43%

2. Independent 11

3. Republican 46

{Remember in the 2020 election, President Trump had 52.06% of the Texas popular vote and no Democrat won a state office.}

Charlotte O'rourke

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

-Steve Jobs

Ron Woody

Notice Mr. Jobs knew he could make a larger impact in industry than politics.

Charlotte O'rourke

True, as technological advances were Job’s passion, but historically political and military leaders have had major impacts as well - good and bad. To name just a few in no particular order …. FDR, Napoleon, Hitler, Martin Luther King Jr., Lincoln, and the list goes on and on.

Bailey Jones

That quote was actually written by Rob Siltanen, an ad man.

Charlotte O'rourke

It’s one of the best and one of my favorites .... Along with “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we've done something wonderful... that's what matters to me.”

Ted Gillis

One thing for sure, Beto will force Abbott to burn through a large chunk of his campaign cash. Get ready for a long period of print, TV, radio, and social media advertising. We’ll be sick of hearing both of their names by the end of the campaign.

Do any of you remember a gubernatorial candidate named Eugene Lott? I still have his campaign jingle rattling around in the back of my head, and I was just a kid then.

Carlos Ponce

"One thing for sure, Beto will force Abbott to burn through a large chunk of his campaign cash."

The actual campaign will be in March where the candidates in the Republican Primary are Daniel Harrison, Donald Huffines, Chad Prather, Allen B. West and incumbent Greg Abbott.

The winner is assured of winning in November.

The Liberal UT/ Texas Tribune poll taken in October shows Abbott a 9 percentage point favorite over NO'Rourke. And the Austin American statesman reports, "Half of voters said they had an unfavorable view of O'Rourke..."

Eugene Lott? Do you mean Eugene Locke who ran in the Texas Democrat primary in 1968 for governor? Wikipedia states, "In an election won by Preston Smith, Locke placed fifth out of 10 candidates in the Democratic primary despite having one of the most notable and easy to sing campaign songs."

George Laiacona

Can anyone give me one legitimate reason why any American has the need for an assault rifle ogle? Don’t these people believe that our armed forces can protect us? The second amendment needs to be replaced with an amendment that will meet the needs of the 21st century. The 18th century version is way outdated. The British are no longer attacking us. They stopped at the end of the war of 1812.

Carlos Ponce

"Don’t these people believe that our armed forces can protect us? "

Depends on who's in charge. West Point cadets are leaving the military academy because they feel the PC powers that be are not preparing future leaders.

At the border, "coyotes" are fully armed. Ranchers feel a need to arm themselves accordingly.

Dan Freeman

To clarify on graduation rates, West Point has always had among the highest in the country. In the eleven year period from 2008 to 2018, the lowest rates were in 2008 and 2014 at 80%. For the last four available years it exceeded 85%. https://www.westpoint.edu/about/cadet-consumer-information/cadet-achievement

Carlos Ponce

My post has nothing to do with graduation, Dan Freeman. It has to do with cadets dropping out because they don't believe the current West Point administration is preparing them for a military career.

Former cadet at the United States Military Academy Hannah MacDonald said that West Point "glorifies ignorant submission and unethical behavior".

"I went to the academy hoping to serve my country and bring the fight to the enemy," Willow Brown recalled. "I found myself instead in the classroom learning about how to be more sensitive. And this woke ideology that had taken over West Point really surprised me."

Nickaylah Sampson remembered talk of briefs about "White rage" and "extremism." The former cadet found such discussions "ridiculous," saying "[i]t really had nothing to do with…bettering yourself as an Army officer." [Nickaylah Sampson is African American]

Jim Forsythe

Jim Brown , Former West Point engineering professor

My answer is based on a four-year assignment as a professor at West Point. Information about the rigorous daily routine, discipline, high academic standards, etc. are not secret; they are available from many sources. Any new cadet who shows up at West Point (and the other academies as well) can only blame himself if he was not aware that this is a demanding environment. Don't the Mothers and Fathers of America have a right to think that their own children will be led by officers who didn't cut classes to go to the beach, or who took the easiest path toward a sheepskin?

The real reason for most dropouts (aside from disciplinary or academic failure) is the very nature of the selection process. Every new cadet is among the cream of the crop at his high school. The biggest single shock for a graduate with a shiny high school ring is that although he may have high SAT's, had a GPA near 4.0, been a varsity athlete, athlete, an Eagle Scout, and generally been a BMOC, SO HAS EVERYBODY ELSE STANDING BESIDE YOU IN THIS FORMATION! Some can cope with this realization and others cannot.

Carlos Ponce

the three young ladies met the physical and mental rigors of West Point. It was the "woke" West Point which does not meet standards. I spoke with the uncle of a West Point cadet. His brother is a West Point graduate. She also said West Point has compromised military officer preparedness.

Two of my classmates became academy graduates, one at West Point and the other at Annapolis so I am well aware of the rigors of military academy life. Both became colonels, one in the Army, the other in the Marines.

Jim Forsythe

The real reason for most dropouts (aside from disciplinary or academic failure) is the very nature of the selection process.

Charles Douglas

If you can get rid of, or trample on the Second Amendment, you know how Radicals are, .. they are already attacking the First Amendment, then what would stop yall from recinding or gutting the 13,14 & 15th Amendments? NO THANKS...YALL WILL HAVE TO DO MORE THAT TALK...TO TAKE OUR GUNS! Smoke on it awhile you will understand it.

Bailey Jones

If Texans wanted Beto he'd be our senator. He couldn't beat Cruz - which means he can't beat anyone. Abbott has politically crippled himself among all but the most Trumpy of Trumpsters, but Texas Democrats still need a compelling candidate to beat him, and Beto ain't it. Right now I don't know who that candidate could be.

That's assuming Abbott wins the primary. If Clown Car Conservative Allen West wins, then Beto looks better. I still believe that there are enough actual conservatives left in the Texas Trumpublican Party to keep the CCC's at bay - but I may be fooling myself - they do seem to enjoy electing idiots.

Jim Forsythe

If only Canidates that had 100% of wining ran, we would have just one person running.

The polls, reporters, political writers—they all believed Dewey was going to win by a landslide.

Why did Dewey lose, some say it was because of a mustache ..

In 1948, Emilie Spencer Deer, a solidly Republican woman from Ohio, announced to her family that she would vote for President Truman instead of the Republican candidate Thomas Dewey because she could not vote for a man with a mustache. A clean-shaven man was team player, whereas a mustachioed one demonstrated a willful independence.

In 1950, the wistful Dewey told a visiting group of Boy Scouts, “Remember fellows, any boy can become president — unless he’s got a mustache.”

Should Trump not have ran, because few people said they were going to vote for him when he first started running?

In 2015 Donald Trump: His odds of winning the Republican nomination for President is 1%.

Should Trump not have ran for president because he had long odds of even being the Republican candidate?

When Beto first started running against Cruz, his chance of winning was slim. Some polls at that time were in double digits for Beto to lose.

The outcome was different than the early polls.

Beto O’Rourke 2018, when he ran for U.S. Senate against Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and lost by 2.6%. It was the closest a Texas Democrat has come to beating a Republican incumbent U.S. senator in 40 years.

Can Beto win in 2022, yes, will he, time will tell.

Some of the factors why Beto may win. Trump factor, gun issues, border control, how Abbott handled Covid19, abortion issue and other factors such as will Matthew McConaughey run? Some people will vote for a change, the new candidate.

Will people vote against Abbott, as they did in the last two Presidential elections?

Will the way we vote, after changes made to how we do, be the mustache of the race to becoming the Governor of Texas in 2022?

Carlos Ponce

"Can Beto win in 2022, yes..." Is the position of dog catcher in El Paso County up in 2022?

Jim Forsythe

The same type of question was asked of Trump in 2015. Can Trump win, as he has never run for office.

The question was also asked, can Truman beat Dewey.

The reasons we have elections is for people to vote for the candidate they think is the best, or not as bad as the other candidate.

Past loses do not mean that a person will not get election in the future.

Reagan ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968. He came in third overall, after Nixon and Rockefeller.

He ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 1976.

Carlos Ponce

Jim Forsythe asks, "Can Trump win, as he has never run for office." Wasn't it Jim Forsythe who posted Donald Trump ran in 2000 in the Reform Party? Yes, he did.

"Jim Forsythe Nov 8, 2021 7:41pm

2000: Trump enters the presidential race as a Reform Party candidate and receives more than 15,000 votes in the party's California primary."

Jim Forsythe

Carlos, thanks for reminding of Trump other losses.

Trump was a looser, more than a winner.

Carlos Ponce

A student of history, especially presidential elections, would say he was"running for his health".

Jim Forsythe

The question was "Can Trump win, as he has never run for office." and the answer is, yes like any race, if a person is running, it is possible for them to win.

Carlos Ponce

The premise in the question is still wrong.

Ron Woody

Mr. Forsythe the point is he spent $70 million to close that gap against a first term Senator. He has spent $100 million and won nothing.

In 2020 several border counties that voted for Clinton in 2016, voted for Trump. Those counties are not going to vote DEM in 22.

Texas legislative officials on the border are rethinking party affiliation.

The DEM Governor's Association has already said they are not supporting a DeSantis opponent. They are not going to waste money on an Abbott opponent either.

Prior to 1990 there were three networks and citizens actually read, had civil discourse and thought. Now it is whatever happens the day or week before they go to the polls. Being an incumbent is a significant advantage. Mr. Ponce may want Mr. West, but Abbott will win Primary and General by at least 10 points.

Jim Forsythe

Mr. Woody. Beto spent $79 million for his race against Cruz., This is an issue with you, why?

Was the $60 million Cruz spent OK with you?

Texas governor Abbott raised over $120 million, mostly from high-dollar donors, last time. It will take more this time.

Beto has already raised many Millions for the race. Now where can I find that the DEM Governor's Association will not support Beto.

The time that people can run for state office and not spend very much money is fading fast, if not over.

As far as the makeup of the voters in Texas. Republican 37%, Independent 33%, Democrat 30%. Independents will have more to say about who wins this time, verses in the past.

The other question no one will know the answer, until the voting is over, which candidate supporters will show up at the polls.

Many people voted against Clinton, so trying to compare Clinton to Beto does not work.

If incumbent has such significant advantage, why did Trump lose in 2020?

Ron Woody

I don't care how much he spent it is that he spent almost $80 million and LOST!!!! Then another $20 million for President and never polled more than 2%, so he LOST!!!

Would you folks please pay attention to what I am saying. Counties on the border that voted for Clinton in 2016, literally changed their votes to Trump when Biden won. After what Biden has done at the border do you really think those counties are going to vote for a DEM?

You tell me not to compare Clinton and Beto which I was not doing and then you turn around and want to compare Trump/Abbott.

If you are seriously going to act as if incumbency is not a significant advantage then you are just ignoring facts and I can't help you.

I did not say Mr. O'Rourke could not raise money, I said it was a waste of money to give to him.

On the DEM Governor's Association, it was pretty clear I was stating an assumption and not a fact.

Most major contributors do not continue to poor good money to losing causes, they are smarter than that.

Abbott has a slim chance of losing and the nation knows that. DEMS have other Governors to defend and try to win. I will be happy if they want to waste money in Texas.

Jim Forsythe

Mr. Woody. Beto spent around $100 million and lost, did you contribute any of the money? If not, why do you care. “O’Rourke’s campaign announced that he had taken in $6,136,763 in online contributions in the day after declaring his candidacy for Governor.

For the ones that gave money for Beto's run for the Senate, they were hoping for a different outcome, but they gave just as the ones that gave Cruz money, but there were not guarantees of winning. He has already had millions donated to him for his run for Governor and before it is over, most likely will set a new record for the amount raised for a candidate running for Governor in any state. Abbott is not liked by enough people that Beto has a chance of winning. Just on issue such as Abbotts's handling of the abortion issue may cost him votes. 39% of voters approved of how state leaders have handled abortion policy while 46% disapproved. Just in most races, the independent vote will decide the winner. In Texas, 33% of the voters are independents.

Since you do not want to compare, then Abbott stands alone on the border issue. I sure you are happy with the way Abbott handled it, but not all are. 41% of voters said they approved how state leaders handled the issue while 44% disapproved.

20% of voters said they approved of the Legislature’s handling of property taxes, while 46% said they disapproved.

As with any issue, such as the one's above, not everyone agrees with an issue. What is important to one may not be with someone else. When a person votes, a lot of the time it reflects how important these issues are to them. With me, the number one issue is the way abortion was handled. Making bounties on people is not the way to handle this issue. Second, is the power grid issue.

Beto group is now actively signing up votes, new and one's that have not voted before.

What it will come down to, is voter turnout.

Don Schlessinger

If the Dems want independent voters' attention Beto will do that, and sour their chances of a Dem win. They have to field a reasonable choice to win conservative independents and Beto isn't it.

Ted Gillis

I saw a coyote in the field behind the Randalls on 61st last week. He didn't appeared armed, and I didn't feel the need to shoot him either.

Andrew Wright-Broughton

Beto Orourke isn’t even his name. Why anyone would consider voting for this guy is beyond me. Andrew Wright-Broughton

Jim Forsythe

If you hold it against Boto for not using his whole name , make sure you do the same for Rafael “Ted” Cruz.

Rafael “Ted” Cruz’s new radio ad attacks Democratic challenger Robert “Beto” O’Rourke for using a nickname.

Is this the reason you will not vote for Beto? Make sure not to vote for Cruz, next time.

Carlos Ponce

"Beto" implies Hispanic heritage which he has none.

Jim Forsythe

Beto is not Latino; rather he’s a fourth-generation Irish-American with a Spanish nickname given to him in childhood by his father.

As he is honoring his father by using the nickname he gave him. Just as his farther went by Pat, and it was not his given name.

Would you vote for him if he used Robert?

Carlos Ponce

"Would you vote for him if he used Robert?" His politics are too Lefty for me.

Carlos Ponce

I'm sorry, Jim has renamed him "Boto".

Jim Forsythe

Does not change a thing. I did not catch it before posting

Ted Gillis

For the reason that some people voted for Rafael Cruz.

Coote! Is that real name?

Don Kemp

I knew Coote and he was a fine fellow, RIP Sir.

Hello Andrew, can you drop me a line @ ozonetrooperr22@gmail.com ?

Ted Gillis

That’s total BS Carlos. Beto is a nick name, plain and simple. If you are going to use that logic, Rafael Cruz is trying to use Ted to imply that his has Anglo heritage, which he has none.

It’s got nothing to do with heritage you phony know it all.

Heck, my wife’s nieces and nephews call me Tio. I don’t take it for anything other than a familiar way of saying Uncle Ted. So grow up, and act like an educated man Carlos.

Carlos Ponce

"Rafael Cruz is trying to use Ted to imply that his has Anglo heritage, which he has none" .

His mother, Eleanor Elizabeth (née Darragh) Wilson is three-quarters Irish and one-quarter Italian.

"Ted" is used by many of Irish descent including Edward "Ted" Kennedy.

Charles Douglas

Beto said he wants to paid something like a thousand dollars a month to certain people, and if a war starts up, he wants to make everybody but those in uniform, and veterans pay a " War Tax!" Now, if the LEFT is going to do all that,.......Ahhhh....Ahhhhh, somebody oughta show me the road back to ..."Dat Ole Plantation' back among the magnolias! [beam]

Charles Douglas

Correction **** Beto wants to "pay" one thousand dollars...not "paid"...

Gary Scoggin

Beto’s comment is one of the biggest unforced errors in the history of Texas politics. It has made him unelectable in a statewide election for years to come.

Ted Gillis

Me too Carlos. I know all about “Ted” being a nick name for Edward or Edwin, duh! Yeah but I don’t think he was channeling Ted Kennedy though. We all know his mother is Anglo, but thanks for feeling that you have to point that out. (But also note that know one really cares). Growing up on the same same side of Houston though and attending private schools I am well aware of why Ted Cruz used his nick name, other than his formal name. It’s obvious.

Carlos Ponce

Let me simply Ted Gillis' post: "Carlos, I was wrong."

Jim Forsythe

Beto was named after his grandfathers, and his mother Melissa O'Rourke, said "Robert" — her father's name — didn't seem to fit when he was a baby. Why would Beto change what name he was called since he was a child. The family has deep roots in El Paso, and Beto is a common shortening of the name Roberto or Robert.

Carlos, trying to make a big deal about Beto's name. His being called Beto is not different than Woodward Maurice Ritter. He went by Tex Ritter, not because that was his name.

Gerald Ford, born Leslie Lynch King Jr., and many other people have gone by names, other than their given names.

Carlos Ponce

Gerald Ford was adopted, Jim.

Considering the type of music Ritter played, "Tex" was appropriate.

NO'Rourke's grandfather never went by "Beto".

Carlos Ponce

He tried to join Congressional Hispanic Caucus in 2013. Luckily someone looked beyond the name "Beto" and refused his entry.

Carlos Ponce

The [McAllen] Monitor, www.themonitor.com | WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2013 Page 6B

During the stop at UTEP, Garcia said it is an injustice that O ’Rourke isn’t allowed membership in the Con­gressional Hispanic Cau­cus because he is Anglo.

"We do not understand it. We do not want him to be excluded,” he said, announcing his group would launch a petition urging the CHC to admit O ’Rourke. The congress­man’s district is more than 8O percent Hispanic, but caucus bylaws say a mem­ber must be Hispanic. O ’Rourke said he has tremendous respect for the group and praised its

efforts on immigration reform."That respect needs to extend to their rules and their bylaws, which cur­rently do not permit me to seek membership,” he said. "Would I like to be a member? Definitely. I hope that ultimately that caucus can look past my ethnic­ity and see the people I represent and the fact that they should have a voice in those meetings.”

Jim Forsythe

Beto never expressed interest in joining the caucus.

Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke found himself in the spotlight this week after the Texas Tribune reported that O’Rourke, an Anglo who represents a district that is nearly 80 percent Hispanic, is ineligible to join the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. That much is true. But the story stirred up a bit of nasty racial politics in the social media world, with some people accusing O’Rourke of being a Latino wannabe and others accusing the Hispanic Caucus of discriminating against non-Latinos.

O’Rourke’s spokeswoman said that O’Rourke has never expressed interest in joining the caucus, which the El Paso Democrat understands only admits members of Hispanic heritage.

“We have no anticipation of changing the bylaws,” O’Rourke spokeswoman Mattie Muñoz said. “We respect the bylaws and respect the work that CHC is doing. We look forward to continue working with them on important issues. “

Carlos Ponce

"That respect needs to extend to their rules and their bylaws, which cur­rently do not permit me to seek membership. Would I like to be a member? Definitely. I hope that ultimately that caucus can look past my ethnic­ity and see the people I represent and the fact that they should have a voice in those meetings.” Robert O'Rourke interview with "The Monitor" newspaper of McAllen, Texas

That's what he said, not his "spokesman".

Yet Jim Forsythe posts, "Beto never expressed interest in joining the caucus."

What part of "Would I like to be a member? Definitely." don't you understand? Does that sound like "never"?

"I hope that ultimately that caucus can look past my ethnic­ity and see the people I represent and the fact that they should have a voice in those meetings.”

Jim Forsythe

"Would I like to be a member? Definitely. means he would like to be if he was eligible, but Beto understood he was not eligible to do so. Since he was not eligible, he had no interest of becoming a member.

I hope that ultimately that caucus can look past my ethnic­ity and see the people I represent and the fact that they should have a voice in those meetings.” which they should, but it should be another person that was eligible to join.

Since he did not join, it makes no difference.

At lease he does not belong to the True Texas Project.

Carlos Ponce

Definitely. means he would like to be if he was eligible, JIM FORSYTHE TELLS US HE NEVER EXPRESSED INTEREST! SHEESH!

Jim Forsythe - doubling down on stupid.

Gary Scoggin

Fixating on Robert O’Rourke’s nickname is one of the silliest discussions I’ve seen yet. My father had a Spanish nickname for me when I was very young. Fortunately, he moved off it when I started school.

Carlos Ponce

Gary Scoggin, you know how the man was elected in a largely Hispanic Congressional District. Did your dad never used his Spanish nickname to mislead the people? I hope not. There are still many uniformed, misinformed who think he is Hispanic based on that.

Carlos Ponce


Did your dad ever use his Spanish nickname to mislead the people? I hope not.

Jim Forsythe

Carlos, at no time have I ever called you stupid. Please stop.

Carlos Ponce

Quit posting stupidity.

Jim Forsythe

Thank you for saying you will not post that again.

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