Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, a Texas Democrat running against Sen. Texas Cruz in this November’s election, has a curious relationship with the truth.
Take what the congressman said in a September debate with Cruz about a drunk driving accident he had in 1998. “I did not try to leave the scene of the accident, though driving drunk, which I did, is a terrible mistake for which there is no excuse or justification or defense, and I will not try to provide one,” O’Rourke said.
O’Rourke, then 26, reportedly hit a truck traveling the same direction, jumped over a median strip — then did, indeed, try to flee, according to a witness who saw the whole thing.
After the accident, the witness told police officer Richard Carrera that “the defendant/driver then attempted to leave the scene,” Carrera wrote in his report. “The [witness] then turned on his overhead lights to warn oncoming traffic and try to get the defendant to stop.”
So, there’s that.
And then there’s this. On the campaign trail, O’Rourke often cites his mother, whom he calls a “lifelong Republican.” “Melissa O’Rourke, a lifelong Republican, will advance the open dialogue that the Congressman has led with Republicans, Democrats, Independents and non-voters alike all across the state over the past 16 months,” the Democrat said in a press release.
In March, with his mother, Melissa, on stage, O’Rourke said to supporters: “I want to announce in front of all of you, that my Republican mother is going to vote for me.” And just last Saturday, he said: “I am the son of a Republican mother who we have convinced to vote for me in this election.”
But CNN (of all outlets) reports that Melissa O’Rourke usually votes in Democratic primaries and donated to Barack Obama’s campaign before he became president.
“Melissa O’Rourke has largely voted in Democratic primaries in Texas since 2000,” CNN said, noting she “donated to the presidential campaign of then-Democratic Sen. Barack Obama in 2007.” Her donations to Democrats included $250 to Obama and $1,200 to Ronald Coleman, a Democratic congressman from Texas from 1983 to 1990. CNN did note, however, that she’s donated to some Republican candidates, too.
“A copy of Melissa O’Rourke’s voting record, which CNN’s KFile requested from the El Paso County Elections Department, shows she’s voted in Democratic primaries in 15 of the last 17 primary elections she has participated, including Democratic party primaries in 2000, 2008, 2012, and 2016 that included presidential primaries. She voted in the Republican Party primary just twice, in 2006 and 2010 midterms,” CNN said.
Melissa O’Rourke told CNN on Tuesday that “for the most part I have voted Republican probably nationally and then more regionally, more Democrats.”
“She explained that she voted in Democratic primaries because ‘that’s the party that’s going to win’ in El Paso and that she could not remember why she voted in Republican primaries in 2006 an 2010,” The Hill reported on Tuesday.
So now there’s that, too.