Beto O’Rourke Exits 2020 Presidential Race

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke is leaving the 2020 presidential race

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke is dropping out of the 2020 presidential campaign.

From The Daily Beast:

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) is ending his presidential campaign after struggling for months to gain sustained momentum, as the crowded Democratic primary thins out less than 100 days until the Iowa caucus.

“Though it is difficult to accept, it is clear to me now that this campaign does not have the means to move forward successfully,” O’Rourke wrote in a Medium post announcing his move on Friday.

“My service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee. Acknowledging this now is in the best interests of those in the campaign; it is in the best interests of this party as we seek to unify around a nominee, and it is in the best interests of the country.”

Rumors about O’Rourke’s candidacy began shortly after his Senate campaign concluded. But for months, he put off making a decision, leaving top Democratic operatives who may have signed on with him to look elsewhere. The entrance into the race of South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, perceived to occupy the same lane for a young, fresh-faced outsider, appeared to further dull the allure of O’Rourke’s bid.

For months, people in Democratic circles have urged O’Rourke to run for Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-TX) seat. Within minutes of O’Rourke’s announcement, “Run For Senate” began to trend on Twitter.

We shall see.

Beto O’Rourke Reveals 30+ Point Plan For LGBTQ Equality

Beto O’Rourke and supporters (image via Instagram)

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke has announced a wide-ranging plan for LGBTQ equality on Wednesday.

Listing an agenda of more than 30 actions he would take and/or support, the plan is divided in three parts: Executive Action to Protect LGBTQ+ People, Legislative Action to Ensure Full Equality and Protect the LGBTQ+ Community Across the Globe.

On his Instagram, O’Rourke said the proposal “would leverage executive power and call for congressional action that ensures that LGBTQ+ people have full equality and opportunity.”

First, O’Rourke would reverse many of Donald Trump’s disastrous executive actions and policies including:

• The discriminatory transgender military ban

• Overturning the ‘Deploy or Get Out’ policy that is currently discharging HIV+ service members

• Reversing the Trump policy that allows healthcare providers to deny treatment to LGBTQ+ people

• Directing the Department of Justice to investigate crimes against transgender people, especially trans women of color

• Reviewing the outdated blood donation requirements including the current 1-year ban for sexually active gay and bisexual men

• Ensure LGBTQ+ people are included in federal data collection efforts

• Appoint judges who have a proven record of supporting full civil rights for everyone

On a legislative front, O’Rourke promises to:

• Push for the passage of The Equality Act

• Ensure LGBTQ+ people have equal access to healthcare

• Enact the Every Child Deserves a Family Act which bars adoption and foster care programs that receive taxpayer dollars from discriminating against prospective LGBTQ parents

And the foreign policy aspect of his efforts would be:

• To promote foreign policy efforts to protect LGBTQ people abroad fleeing from persecution and violence

• Working with the United Nations on global protections for LGBTQ folks

• Investment in the Global Equality Fund which provides assistance to human rights groups working on behalf of LGBTQ people.

Click over to O’Rourke’s campaign site for more the details.

Mayor Pete Heckled In Texas, Beto O’Rourke Denounces The Haters

During a speech to Democrats in Dallas, Texas, Mayor Pete Buttigieg was interrupted five different times by hecklers in a 10-minute period.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg in Dallas

During a speech to Democrats in Dallas, Texas, Mayor Pete Buttigieg was interrupted five different times by hecklers in a 10-minute period.

The group was organized by Randall Terry, who also followed Buttigieg in Iowa last month.

Pausing while one of the hecklers was escorted out, Buttigieg resumed speaking about his military career recalling “that moment when I was packing my bags for Afghanistan for the purpose of defending that gentleman’s freedom of speech.”

Fellow candidate Beto O’Rourke, who had a campaign appearance in nearby Fort Worth, denounced the hecklers, tweeting: “Texans don’t stand for this kind of homophobia and hatred. Mayor Pete, we are grateful you came to Texas and hope to see you and Chasten back again soon.”

Here’s the report from the local CBS News affiliate:

Beto Beats Bernie In First Day Campaign Donations

Beto O’Rourke raised more than $6 million online in the first 24 hours after announcing his presidential campaign last week, according to his campaign, outpacing his rivals for the Democratic nomination and making an emphatic statement about his grass-roots financial strength.
Beto O’Rourke

From the New York Times:

Beto O’Rourke raised more than $6 million online in the first 24 hours after announcing his presidential campaign last week, according to his campaign, outpacing his rivals for the Democratic nomination and making an emphatic statement about his grass-roots financial strength.

Mr. O’Rourke brought in $6,136,736 after declaring his long-anticipated bid with a web video and trip to Iowa on Thursday morning, raising the sum entirely online and from all 50 states, the campaign said.

Beto’s one day total tops the $5.9 million one-day total for Sen. Bernie Sanders after he launched, and the first-day fundraising total for Sen. Kamala Harris at $1.5 million

News Round-Up: March 16, 2019

Some news items you might have missed:

• Finally, a public bathroom sign (above) that makes sense.

• The Advocate takes a look at newly-announced presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s history on LGBTQ issues.

• GOP Sen. Ted Cruz has been fined $35,000 for failing to disclose $1 million in campaign funds.

• Michael Jackson fans are suing his alleged victims for taking part in the recent HBO documentary Leaving Neverland for sullying the memory of the pop star.

• Having surpassed over 65,000 donors, out White House hopeful Pete Buttigieg has qualified for the 2020 Democratic presidential debates.

• Indie singer/songwriter/producer Lauv (nominated for “Best New Pop Artist at the 2019 iHeart Radio Music Awards) drops his stripped-down video of hit single “i’m so tired…” with Troye Sivan.

Lauv said on the stripped performance, “Troye and I went to Henson Recording Studios to make this acoustic version of ‘i’m so tired…’ and we ended up including the infamous bridge. Also, Troye is an angel…go check it out and enjoy.”

Troye added, “I’ve had the insane joy of playing this song live now for the last few weeks and have never felt a ground swell like this for a song I’m on before. So excited to put out this acoustic version of ‘i’m so tired…’ with Lauv!”

Beto O’Rourke Announces 2020 Run For White House

Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke has announced he's joining the race for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke has announced he’s joining the race for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.

The Texan, who became a sensation during the 2018 midterm elections, made his announcement on Twitter:

From the New York Times:

Mr. O’Rourke made his town hall forums the centerpiece of his Senate candidacy, turning the race into a national cause — the underdog liberal running in a famously red state — trailed by a documentary film crew and endorsed by celebrities from Beyoncé to Willie Nelson. He made a point of visiting each of the 254 counties in Texas, helping him bulldoze fund-raising records and come within about 200,000 votes of Mr. Cruz on Election Day.

[Where Beto O’Rourke stands on the issues]

Mr. O’Rourke also attracted many fans outside the state, drawing them into a perpetual social media live-stream capturing not only his political events but unscripted moments on the road: late-night burger stops, skateboarding in a parking lot, reminiscing with a former bandmate behind the wheel. For many politically obsessed liberals, his inevitably upbeat musings offered a welcome online antidote to Mr. Trump’s Twitter rampaging.

Admirers believe it is this ability to generate his own narrative orbit that could separate him from his peers.

With the tagline, Beto For America, the 46-year-old hopes to upend the standings that currently show former Vice President Joe Biden (who hasn’t officially announced he’s in the race yet) and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the lead.

News Round-Up: March 4, 2019

• InstaHunk Jared Techau has the right idea for cold, rainy nights in Los Angeles. #metime #mood #candles
(image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

• InstaHunk Jared Techau has the right idea for cold, rainy nights in Los Angeles. #metime #mood #candles

• A man convicted of the murder of a gay man in Alabama in 1999 has been stabbed to death in prison.

• Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) has expressed support for the federal legalization of marijuana as he considers a potential presidential bid in 2020.

• A man and his friend were kicked out of an Uber in Sydney, Australia after his friend kissed him on the forehead during the car ride.

• Journalist Michael Musto spoke with an Academy Award voter who has an idea how Glenn Close lost her Oscar this year.

• The Fab Five are back! Netflix just dropped the trailer for Season 3 of Queer Eye which includes the show’s first duo and first lesbian makeovers.

The new season will also tackle issues like alcoholism, identity crises and more.

Season 3 drops on March 15. Watch the trailer below.

News Round-Up: February 5, 2019

(image via Instagram/Johnny.Desperado)

Some news items you might have missed:

• I love Wrangler jeans. And the outdoors. And cowboy hats.. And, hold on, something else, it’s coming to me… 🙂

• The movie Boy Erased, based on Garrard Conley’s real-life journey through so-called ‘conversion therapy’ will not be released in Brazil. Universal Pictures says the film won’t be released due to ‘financial reasons.’ The South American country recently elected openly-homophobic Jair Bolsonaro as president.

• If you ever wondered EXACTLY what it’s like to be bullied at school as a young boy, before he’s even figured out who he is, please read this by my talented friend, David Toussaint. Definitely worth the read.

ABC News: An investigation by a government watchdog organization shows President Donald Trump’s four trips to his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida over four weeks in March and February 2017, including his summit with the Japanese prime minister, cost the government nearly $14 million.

• Opera singer David Daniels and his husband Scott Walters, were arrested Tuesday over allegations of rape by baritone Samuel Schultz in 2010. Schultz, who told police he was drugged and raped in 2010, came forward with the allegation in August.

• Texas political phenom Beto O’Rourke gave Oprah “a strong signal” he is seriously considering a 2020 run for the White House.

• A seven year-old boy in Wisconsin was beaten, tortured and buried in the snow until he died of hypothermia for not knowing his Bible verses.

• Pet Shop Boys drop their first single, “Give Stupidity a Chance”, from their upcoming EP Agenda (release date April 12).

Neil Tennant describes the track as “a satirical song about the poor quality of political leadership in the modern world.”

“Chicks are always up for it / You’ve got to grab whatever you can / We need a leader who knows money means class / With an eye for a peach-perfect piece of ass”

Check out the lyric video below.

Houston Chronicle Endorses Democrat Rep. Beto O’Rourke Over Sen. Ted Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz (L) and Rep. Beto O’Rourke (R)

The editorial board of the Houston Chronicle, the hometown newspaper of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, has endorsed his Democratic opponent, Rep. Beto O’Rourke.

With eyes clear but certainly not starry, we enthusiastically endorse Beto O’Rourke for U.S. Senate. The West Texas congressman’s command of issues that matter to this state, his unaffected eloquence and his eagerness to reach out to all Texans make him one of the most impressive candidates this editorial board has encountered in many years.

Despite the long odds he faces – pollster nonpareil Nate Silver gives O’Rourke a 20 percent chance of winning – a “Beto” victory would be good for Texas, not only because of his skills, both personal and political, but also because of the manifest inadequacies of the man he would replace.

Ted Cruz — a candidate the Chronicle endorsed in 2012, by the way — is the junior senator from Texas in name only. Exhibiting little interest in addressing the needs of his fellow Texans during his six years in office, he has kept his eyes on a higher prize.

He’s been running for president since he took the oath of office — more likely since he picked up his class schedule as a 15-year-old ninth-grader at Houston’s Second Baptist High School more than three decades ago. For Cruz, public office is a private quest; the needs of his constituents are secondary.

RealClearPolitics’ average of polls shows Cruz ahead of O’Rourke by 7 points.

Texas: Rep. Beto O’Rourke Raises A Record $38 Million For Senate Race

Sen. Ted Cruz (L) and Rep. Beto O’Rourke (R)

Democratic senatorial candidate Rep. Beto O’Rourke has raised more than three times the amount of incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz for the upcoming midterm elections.

From The Texas Tribune:

U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, raised $38.1 million for his U.S. Senate campaign in the third quarter, a new record for the largest fundraising quarter ever in a U.S. Senate race, according to his campaign.

The haul more than tripled Republican incumbent Ted Cruz’s fundraising for the past three months, which Cruz has said was over $12 million. O’Rourke has consistently raised more than Cruz in the race, but this is the widest gap yet.

The $38.1 million is by far the largest amount raised in a quarter by a Senate candidate, surpassing Republican Rick Lazio’s record of $22 million in 2000 for his bid against Democrat Hillary Clinton in New York.

Cruz currently averages a 7 point lead in the polls according to RealClearPolitics.

And according to the most recent Texas Senate Quinnipiac poll, Cruz leads O’Rourke, 54%-45%.

Plus, Cruz’s favorability is +8 (52-44) while O’Rourke has a divided 45%-47% (-2) favorability rating.

Although, I see RCP doesn’t list this new poll from Reuters/IPSOS that shows O’Rourke leading by 2 points.

Could the tide turn at just the right time?