In his long-shot bid to bring his far-left politics to the US Senate while representing Texas, Congressman Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke constantly panders to the Hollywood elites bent on removing taxpayer champion US Sen. Ted Cruz from office.

O’Rourke came to Texas State University in San Marcos for a townhall after being invited by a number of the campus’ student organizations. As someone who has always held conservative values, I jumped at the opportunity to see O’Rourke in person and hear what he had to offer as a candidate.

The line for the event stretched from the ballroom through the hall of the LBJ Student Center. O’Rourke drew a standing-room-only crowd. Even in a ballroom prepared with almost 700 seats, campus administration had to establish an overflow room to accommodate everyone in attendance.

O’Rourke strolled into the ballroom 20 minutes late, sporting one of the university hats—turns out he was distracted by the media, answering press questions just outside the venue. He was met with a standing ovation as he ran onto the stage with Latin music playing. He was charismatic, but that charisma waned as the town hall went on.

The first issue he brought up was climate change, which surprised me; at a college campus, I expected his primary focus would be the issue of astronomically high tuition. He presented a generic call for wind and solar energy with little specifics about how those sources can efficiently meet our energy needs.

O’Rourke then called for socialized healthcare, using an emotional story about a Laredo resident. He stated that Texas is the least-insured state in the U.S, and that our state’s demographics are not the only cause for that. He then declared that socialized healthcare was a “fiscally responsible choice.” According to a study conducted by the Mercatus Center, this would cost $32.6 trillion over the first 10 years.

His third talking point resonated with the students at Texas State: a call for amnesty for so-called DREAMers—illegal immigrants who came to the US as children—coupled with a hit on ICE officers.

O’Rourke then went on the offensive, calling out policies he opposes such as “walls and Muslim bans.” After that grandstanding, he said Texas has a “guise of religious laws that do not allow people ‘too gay’ to adopt children,” taking a punch at a law the Texas Legislature passed during the last legislative session protecting the rights of Catholic adoption agencies to act in accordance with their faith. He also said that “people can be fired for being too gay,” though Texas does have anti-discrimination laws on the books.

Then the finale: audience questions.

A conservative Texas State alum asked why O’Rourke supports a “woman’s right to choose” but not school choice. Regarding abortion, he said taxpayer dollars can’t be used to fund abortions but, instead are used for cancer screening and family planning. Claiming, “It’s part of the reason we can’t confirm Brett Kavanaugh as our next Supreme Court Justice.”

On school choice, he said, “…But, please. Don’t take my public tax dollars, turn them into a voucher, and send them out of my kid’s public school classroom to a private school…”

Why is it that O’Rourke wants taxes raised for universal healthcare, but doesn’t want children in failing schools to have the support to leave those schools?

Beto is a charismatic candidate, but the appeal is short-lived. The longer he speaks, the more you see right through him. Everything is rehearsed and, instead of tailoring his town hall topics to his location, it seems as though he repeats everything verbatim at each speaking location.

While popular among many in Hollywood, O’Rourke still needs a titanic-sized “blue wave” to unseat Cruz in a state as conservative as Texas.

This is a commentary submitted and published with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to the Texas Scorecard, please submit your article to submission@empowertexans.com.

Keeley Dorman

Keeley Dorman is a Sophomore at Texas State University in San Marcos studying Political Science. She is an active member and leader in the Conservative movement at Texas State, holding positions in both Young Conservatives of Texas and Turning Point USA. Keeley served as an Intern/ Legislative Aide in the Texas House during the 85th Legislative session and interned with a conservative political consulting firm before the Primaries. Keeley enjoys camping, road trips and hiking with her dog, Sully.

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