Beto O'Rourke's Comments About Trump Are Not What You'd Expect From Him

by Chelsea Stewart
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By now, you've probably heard about Beto O'Rourke. If the former congressman didn't pop up on your radar when he was a Texas Senate candidate in the 2018 midterm race, you might've heard that he announced a presidential campaign to take on President Donald Trump, a man he's appeared to have snubbed on multiple occasions. Here are a few Beto O'Rourke quotes about Trump that seem to show how he truly feels about his 2020 rival.

But I've gotta tell you: Many of these are indirect and subtle jabs, because O'Rourke seemingly isn't really the type to sound off about someone. Even his political peers, like Republican political operative Jeff Roe, have commented on it. Roe once tweeted that he was caught off guard by a charged essay O'Rourke Wrote for Medium in 2018 about the state of America. "I’ve read every single word that [Beto O'Rourke] has uttered in public life. He has never, and I mean never, talked like this," the tweet read.

On the other hand, as the election cycle really kicks off, O'Rourke has clearly gotten a lot more direct, going after Trump by name on issues like immigration and foreign policy. From the outside looking in, O'Rourke seems like a chill kind of guy with a southern charm and cool reserve. But he clearly has no problem speaking up whenever he needs to, like in these six situations:

He thinks Trump "alienated" America's allies.
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At the first Democratic presidential debate on June 26, O'Rourke called out Trump's history with America's international allies, and it wasn't pretty. In response to a question about whether the United States has a responsibility to intervene in international crises, O'Rourke basically said that responsibility or no, America's ability to do so had been undermined by Trump's bad relationships with our allies. Trump has repeatedly criticized the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a coalition of North American and European ally nations including the United States, the U.K., Germany, France, and Canada. Trump has even reportedly threatened to withdraw the United States, which would be a drastic move in reshaping America's alliances.

"Under this administration, President Trump has alienated our allies and our friends and our alliances," O'Rourke said at the debate. "He’s diminished our standing in the world and he’s made us weaker as a country, less able to confront challenges whether it’s Iran or North Korea or Vladimir Putin in Russia who attacked and invaded our democracy in 2016." Oof.

Elite Daily reached out to representatives of Trump for any response, but did not immediately hear back.

He blamed Trump for conditions faced by migrant children.
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In late June, America was in an uproar over reports of migrant children held in appalling conditions in detention facilities at the southern U.S. border. Reports emerged of children denied the use of soap, toothbrushes, diapers, or even beds, in overcrowded facilities where older children were forced to care for younger ones. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not reply to Elite Daily's request for comment at the time.

O'Rourke blamed Trump for the situation, saying on June 27 that the president's rhetoric about migrants had led to the situation. “This is what happens when you call Mexican immigrants racists and criminals. This is what happens when you call asylum seekers animals and an infestation,” O’Rourke told reporters during a visit to a detention center for migrant children in Homestead, Florida, per The Hill. “It is only when the president has given permission do you see kids put in cages or detained in tent cities like this one.”

Elite Daily reached out to representatives of Trump for a response, but did not immediately hear back.

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Per the El Paso Times, O'Rourke once expressed his belief that Trump colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election (Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report found that there was no collusion between the Trump 2016 presidential campaign and Russia, but that the Trump campaign had expected to benefit from Russian election meddling). He even reportedly said that Trump's defense of Russian leader Vladimir Putin over claims of interference was enough to move forward with impeachment proceedings. Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on the tweet, but did not hear back by the time of publication.

"To have the president of our country stand on a stage with Vladimir Putin, and defend Putin instead of the American people and this democracy that has withstood attacks for 242 years and counting should be cause for concern," he said.

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O'Rourke was much more direct in May 2019, when he straight up called for Trump's removal from office during a CNN town hall, despite any potential political risk.

“It’s not something that I take lightly. It’s an incredibly serious, sober decision that we should take as a country,” O’Rourke said, according to The Huffington Post. “If we do nothing because we are afraid of the polls or the politics or the repercussions in the next election, then we will have set a precedent for this country that in fact some people, because of the position of power and public trust that they hold, are above the law.”

In case the world didn't get his point, he echoed those comments again on May 29 after Special Counsel Robert Mueller elaborated on his findings in the report into Russian election meddling. In the report, Mueller wrote that he expressly did not exonerate Trump on obstruction of justice, noting that Justice Department policy prohibits the indictment of a sitting president. However, Mueller said in public remarks on May 29 that if investigators were confident the president had not committed a crime they would have said so, and added that charging the president with a crime was “not an option." Mueller then noted “the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing,” which seemed to refer to impeachment proceedings.

Shortly after, O'Rourke tweeted, "There must be consequences, accountability, and justice. The only way to ensure that is to begin impeachment proceedings." The White House did not immediately return Elite Daily's request for comment on the tweet.

At the time of this writing, Trump has not been formally accused of or charged with any crime, and no serious impeachment proceedings have been started.

He Seems To Think Trump Is A Divisive President
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People like Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont), Bruce Springsteen and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California) have said that Trump is on a mission to divide the country through his aggressive policies and fiery rhetoric. While O'Rourke never explicitly called him out for this, he seemed to imply it to the El Paso Times back in March when he stressed the need to bring America "together."

“I want to be president because I feel that we can bring this country together," he told the publication. "We can unify around our ambitions, our aspirations, the big things that we know we are capable of when all of us have the opportunity to contribute."

He's Not Here For Trump's Border Wall
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Trump has repeatedly said that a wall is needed at the United States' southern border to fix a growing "humanitarian crisis," but O'Rourke, who reportedly lives just blocks away from Mexico, isn't buying that. During a Feb. 11 rally in his hometown, El Paso, Texas, he said that the city has been “one of the safest cities in America for 20 years” and that it actually became “a little less safe” after a fence was built there in 2008, per The New York Post. And he's right, according to police data collected by the FBI, which shows that violent crime went up while the fence was being built and once it was finished. “Let’s show the country there is nothing to be afraid of when it comes to the U.S.-Mexico border,” he said.

"With the eyes of the country upon us, all of us together are going to make our stand, here in one of the safest cities in the United States of America — safe not because of walls, but in spite of walls," he said, per CNN. "We treat each other with dignity and respect. That is the way we make our community and our country safe."

He Thinks Trump Is Ruining Relationships With Our Trading Partners
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Yep, he said this in March while addressing a year-long trade battle between China and the United States.

"When have we first alienated every single trading partner we have, as this country has done under Trump's leadership, before confronting one of the largest economies in the world today, one of the largest markets for soybeans for corn for what we produce in Iowa and Texas and around the country?" O'Rourke said, according to CNBC.

He continued, "Let's make sure we hold other countries of the world accountable, but let's not do it at the expense of our farmers, our growers, our producers, those who are fundamental to the success of the U.S. economy."

Oof. Looks like O'Rourke is not the biggest fan of Trump and is ready to see him out of office. He may have his shot at taking down Trump on the campaign trail. We'll see what happens!