Beto plays the race card(s)
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke has had a rough time on the campaign trail. He's not polling well, others have stolen his tunder and his issues -- in short, he's struggling just to stay marginally relevant. What's an ambitious pol to do in such a situation? For O'Rourke, it's doubling down on Hillary Clinton's infamous 2016 "deplorables" blunder:
O'Rourke appeared on CNN's State of the Union, where he was critical of Trump's rhetoric and his behavior after the deadly mass shooting in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio last weekend.
"You said to me last week that you thought President Trump was a white nationalist. I just wonder, sir, President Trump won your home state of Texas by nine points," host Jake Tapper said. "Almost 63 million Americans voted for him. Do you think it is racist to vote for President Trump in 2020?"
There was a long pause from O'Rourke before he said, "I think it's really hard."
"I think it's really hard after everything that we've seen from his time as a candidate in 2016 to his repeated warnings of invasions to his repeated calls to send them back," O'Rourke said. "Sending back people who are U.S. citizens, sending back people who were born in this country."
"His description of white nationalists and klansmen and neo-Nazis as very fine people. His warnings of Muslims as being somehow inherently defective and attempting to ban them from entry into this country, and his transgender troop ban and his attack on anyone who does not look like or pray like or love like a majority of the country," O'Rourke continued.
O'Rourke went on to say Trump is "dangerous to the future of America and will destroy what makes us so unique."
The former Congressman has repeatedly called Trump a white supremacist. Earlier this week, he told MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace that Trump has made it "very clear" he is a white supremacist.
And in Beto's mind, anyone who votes for the president is probably a racist/white supremacist/bogeyman, too. One might think slurring 63 million Americans who voted for Trump in 2016 (and may do so again in 2020) is a bad idea. As a general election strategy yes, it is. It may even be too much for Demcoratic primary voters - we shall see. But as a sign O'Rourke and others are desperate? Yup -- crystal clear.