Beto O'Rourke: Texas guv hopeful doesn't want Joe Biden's help for run, here's why
'Campaign not gonna be about anyone from outside of our state,' declares Democrat, who is hoping to unseat Greg Abbott in 2022
Beto O'Rourke is hoping to unseat Greg Abbott as the Texas governor in 2022, despite some rather controversial views. In an interview on November 21, the former Congressman dived into his campaign, highlighting his plans. Amongst the many interesting things O'Rourke said, one is sure to pique your interest - he doesn't want President Joe Biden's endorsement. O'Rourke made a very clear attempt to distance himself from the struggling President, in a historic shift from tradition.
The President, along with Vice President Kamala Harris is facing historically low poll numbers, amidst rumors of infighting and frequent public gaffes. Despite scoring a win with the infrastructure bill, Biden is still battling an economic crisis and a resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Given the chaos, Democrats are being forced into a balancing act with the 2022 mid-terms close at hand. It's a significant shift from the Trump administration when the then-President was widely courted ahead of key elections. Despite 16 Republicans losing their seats as a result, Trump continues to draw attention and requests for endorsements. But when it comes to Joe Biden, it appears there's a slightly different playbook now.
Why O'Rourke doesn't want a Biden endorsement
Traditionally, candidates running for office tend to do well when endorsed by the sitting President. But, Trump upended that thinking entirely with his divisive politics, and self-centered speeches. Biden has so far backed Terry McAuliffe in Virginia, and Gavin Newsom in California. Both men ended up losing their campaigns. He also backed Melanie Ann Stansbury in her campaign to represent New Mexico's 1st Congressional District, which she won.
But with the score 2-1 against, it seems Biden isn't as favored by some in his party. Take O'Rourke, who is running for Texas Governor. In an interview with CNN on November 21, he said, "This campaign in Texas is not gonna be about Joe Biden, it's not gonna be about Donald Trump. It's not gonna be about anyone from outside of our state." That was in response to whether he would welcome Biden to Texas for an endorsement. He went on to say, "There's no politician, there's no other person from outside of this state, who can help to change the course of this election for better or for worse."
While O'Rourke didn't explicitly say no to Biden or denounce his involvement, his statement can be seen as a clear attempt to distance himself from the White House. Instead, O'Rourke is making the campaign about Texas, and not about national politics, as McAuliffe attempted in Virginia. "That’s why I’m traveling to every part of the state, making sure that no one is written off and no one is taken for granted and that we keep the focus on Texas," he added.
The Texan faces an uphill battle to replace Abbott, who's made a name for himself by tackling the border crisis head-on, and strongly opposing vaccines, masks, and other Covid-19 mitigation measures. While Texas was historically a blue state, in the last three decades, the GOP has gained a very strong foothold. Ann Richards was the last Democratic Governor, between 1991 and 1995. With history not on his side and collapsing support for the party all over the nation, O'Roruke faces an almost impossible task ahead of him, made harder by Biden's increasing lack of popularity.