Is Beto Tough Enough for 2020? At Least One Dem Isn’t So Sure | NTK Network Is Beto Tough Enough for 2020? At Least One Dem Isn’t So Sure

Is Beto Tough Enough for 2020? At Least One Dem Isn’t So Sure

“I’m just not a negative guy,” O’Rourke told reporters on Friday said. “I’m not turned on by bringing other people down.”

By NTK Staff | 12.17.2018 @10:00am
Is Beto Tough Enough for 2020? At Least One Dem Isn’t So Sure

Some Democrats are expressing concern that Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), who lost a Senate bid to unseat Ted Cruz (R-TX) in November and may launch a presidential run next year, doesn’t have what it takes to go on the attack against his political opponents.

O’Rourke first won his seat in 2012 a fairly bitter primary against Silvestre Reyes, an eight-term Democrat representing the El Paso area in Congress. Reyes had the backing of then-President Barack Obama, and former President Bill Clinton who campaigned for him.

Reyes hit O’Rourke where it hurt, too.

“Reyes was ugly,” Shapleigh said. “Reyes put an ad on TV about Beto’s DWI, and he ridiculed the name ‘Beto’ because he thought he was trying to get the Hispanics to vote for him.”

O’Rourke found a way to defeat the incumbent that year, but until his 2018 Senate campaign, he rarely faced a serious challenger since then.

At least one Austin-based political consultant believed that despite O’Rourke’s willingness to “be tough” in 2012, he lacked what it took to take on Cruz earlier this year.

But in the race against Cruz, Lippincott said, “He didn’t go negative until the last possible second, and I think that cost him … I think the fact that he did not have consultants cost him.”

If he runs again — whether for president or some other office in Texas — Lippincott said O’Rourke should “go negative faster … just do a better job on the attack.”

The only problem? That isn’t O’Rourke’s style, according to the man himself. Speaking to reporters on Friday, O’Rourke said, “I’m just not a negative guy. I’m not turned on by bringing other people down. I’m excited about the big things that we can do in the future, and how we pull people together to achieve them.”

Whether that’s just political rhetoric or how he actually feels will be determined by his 2020 campaign, if he decides to run.

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