Beto O’Rourke on Matthew McConaughey: “I don’t know what he thinks about these problems”
Beto O’Rourke says he’s still thinking “very seriously” about running for governor – and that he’s not surprised that Matthew McConaughey, another potential candidate, votes against Gov. Greg Abbott so well.
In an interview with the Texas Tribune Festival 2021, the former United States Democratic Representative from El Paso praised McConaughey for using his star power to help Texas, including after the 2019 mass shooting in the O’Rourke’s hometown, El Paso.
Addressing a recent poll showing McConaughey with a lead over Abbott, O’Rourke suggested the actor is taking advantage of being a blank slate for most Texans when it comes to his current politics.
“He’s a very popular figure whose political views have by no means been fixed,” O’Rourke said. âI don’t know, for example, who he voted for in the most important elections since 1864 in this country. I don’t know what he thinks about the issues we’ve raised. â¦ So I think that might explain part of [the polling]. “
McConaughey, an Oscar-winning actor and native of Texas, said he was considering running for governor, although he did not say whether he would run as a Republican or Democrat or if he had done so. many more to explain how he would position himself politically. Despite that, a poll released over the weekend found McConaughey leading Abbott by 9 percentage points. The same poll, from the Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler, showed McConaughey was closely following Abbott two months earlier.
For months, O’Rourke left open the possibility of challenging Abbott next year for his third term. In the interview, O’Rourke admitted he was considering a gubernatorial race but gave no new details on his plans. Pressed by his decision-making schedule, O’Rourke has only said, on several occasions, that he will make his decision “in the near future.”
O’Rourke proposed a case against Abbott, while answering a question about whether he could run for the US Senate again in 2024.
âThe fight in front of us right now is the one we’re talking about today in Texas, given what’s going on,â O’Rourke said. “Given the profound damage, chaos and incompetence associated with Greg Abbott – the winter freeze, the abortion ban, the porterage without a license, the anti-mask warrant, the terrible toll COVID has taken endure in this state and where it has decimated populations along the border, like in my hometown of El Paso – that’s what we need to focus on right now. “
A gubernatorial bid would be O’Rourke’s third campaign in three years, following unsuccessful nominations for the US Senate in 2018 and president in 2020. While Abbott would start off as the frontrunner, he seemed increasingly to more vulnerable, its approval rating having plummeted in recent months. and O’Rourke trailing him by 5 points in the most recent Dallas Morning News / UT-Tyler poll. The previous poll lost 12 points to O’Rourke.
Texas Republicans are nonetheless optimistic about their opportunities in 2022, including in South Texas, where President Joe Biden underperformed last year.
O’Rourke said the disappointing performance of Democrats in the region was in part due to the Biden campaign not paying enough attention to the state as a whole.
“It didn’t help matters, but it also had a lot to do with Democrats talking far too often to Hispanic or Latino voters on the border as if they were somehow separated or separated from the rest of the world. ‘State, and spoke to them in the language of victimization or grievance or, âThis bad shit is falling on you, and you’re not mad and aren’t you with us?â Instead of talking about the ambitious things that mean the most to us, “said O’Rourke.” Will I be able to hang on to my job? Can I find a better one? Could I afford to buy this boat or to send my child to university? â
O’Rourke said Republicans in 2020 – including former President Donald Trump – “had a really compelling message, even if it was based on a false choice.” That false choice, as O’Rourke described it, was between keeping his job and staying safe during the coronavirus pandemic, an apparent reference to the business closures that took place in the months leading up to the 2020 election.
âListening to people across South Texas and along the border,â O’Rourke said, âit really resonated.â
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Author: PATRICK SVITEK – The Texas Tribune
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