ABC News political reporter Paula Faris was supposed to interview Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke but ended up fawning over O’Rourke instead, calling Ted Cruz’s challenger a “rock star.”
The interview aired on Sunday’s episode of “This Week,” but was recorded a few days ago, while Beto was on the campaign trail.
Video: In recorded piece aired on Sunday’s #ThisWeek, gushing ABC News reporter @PaulaFaris exclaimed of @BetoORourke as she walked with him through cheering supporters: “You’re a rock star! No, you really are!” pic.twitter.com/0rqwRrtxhe
— Brent Baker (@BrentHBaker) October 21, 2018
“You’re a rock star. … You really are,” Faris cries as she and O’Rourke attempt to walk through a throng of supporters, adding that Beto couldn’t “go ten feet” without having to stop for a handshake or a photo opportunity.
Faris then claims, in a voice-over, that “O’Rourke, a three-term congressman, has captured the nation’s attention as well. Hauling in a record $38 million in donations last quarter.”
O’Rourke has had a rough few weeks; the once-strong challenger, expected to challenge Cruz directly and come within striking distance on Election Day, slipped to 7 points behind Cruz after a disastrous debate appearance. He’s raised $38 million, but he’s spent a whopping 77% of his take, leaving little for a future campaign — and what he’s raised, he’s not sharing with fellow Democrats.
In his interview with Faris, though, O’Rourke was more focused on staying above the fray. When Faris asked O’Rourke about a recent interaction with President Donald Trump, where Trump called him a lightweight, Beto responded that he’d prefer not to name-call.
“I don’t know that it makes any sense to respond. I think the kind of bitterness and name-calling and partisanship that has unfortunately defined so much of the national conversation, you can add more to it or you can stay focused on the future and why you did this in the first place. That’s what we’ve chosen to do,” O’Rourke said (though he did follow up on the interview by calling Cruz, “Lyin’ Ted” in the debate).