NBC News is reporting that Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke is looking to “reset” his campaign as he attempts to revive his political fortunes.
Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke plans to deliver his first major, written address on Thursday, offering a reset of his presidential campaign, a new focus and a fresh strategy for going forward in the wake of a mass shooting in O’Rourke’s hometown of El Paso that killed 22 people last week.
O’Rourke will recommit to holding President Trump accountable for the state of the country — and focus on the stakes of removing a president from office whom he has explicitly linked to the deaths of fellow El Pasoans, according to a senior campaign official.
He’ll focus heavily on three key issues: racism, white supremacy and guns — and plans to propose what the campaign calls “new, bold solutions.”
O’Rourke received desperately needed national attention after the El Paso massacre by calling Trump a “white supremacist” and Trump voters “racists.” His frantic efforts to get attention — much like a two-year-old throwing a tantrum — included the outrageous statement that Trump was “inciting violence.” Of course, O’Rourke failed to clarify that idiotic statement because, well, he wouldn’t be able to point to a single statement by the president that incited violence in any way, shape, or form.
He will now seek to capitalize on the national attention he received from those smears by announcing his intention to begin his campaign over again.
O’Rourke’s campaign hopes the speech and subsequent return to campaigning can propel the candidate back into the top tier. His polling numbers hover between 1.5 percent and 2.5 percent of those surveyed in most early states, with a much stronger base of support in Texas, where voters cast ballots on Super Tuesday.
For O’Rourke to base his campaign on “racism” and “guns” at the expense of bread and butter issues like the economy and jobs won’t work. First of all, we should delicately point out he’s the wrong color to be talking about “racism.” Secondly, the issue of guns is already fading in the public consciousness, and by the time the primaries get underway, it will have returned to being a minor issue — not even of much import for Democratic primary voters.
In a field of more than 20 candidates, O’Rourke is going to find it next to impossible to build momentum without a spectacular debate performance next month. He can reset his campaign all he wants, but the reality is that the political commentariat has already taken his measure and found it wanting.
Mr. O’Rourke entered the presidential race as a Hollywood favorite with the press treating him as a star on the campaign trail.
Just two months ago, Mr. O’Rourke consistently polled in third place behind Mr. Biden and Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont.
Then he quickly began stumbling, including offending the feminist left with a joke about his wife raising their children “sometimes with my help.”
The bigger criticism was that beyond his grand pronouncements about unity and inclusion, he lacks a grasp of issues and policies.
For a guy who just a few short months ago was being compared to John F. Kennedy, it must be a real let down. He, like many candidates before him, thought he could get by on charm and style. But most voters want substance with their sex appeal.