One of the largest newspapers in Texas is urging former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) to drop out of the presidential race and try again to attain the U.S. Senate seat in the Lone Star state.
“Beto, if you’re listening: Come home,” The Houston Chronicle editorial board wrote on Saturday. “Drop out of the race for president and come back to Texas to run for senator. The chances of you winning the race you’re in now are vanishingly small. And Texas needs you.”
The editorial revealed that the former congressman’s blunt reaction to reporters in the aftermath of the deadly shooting in El Paso was a turning point in the campaign. At the time, O’Rourke was asked if it was possible for President Donald Trump to do anything “to make this any better.”
“Um, what do you think? You know the sh*t he’s been saying,” O’Rourke aggressively responded. “He’s been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. I don’t know. Like, members of the press – what the f*ck? It’s these questions that you know the answers to, I mean, connect the dots.”
"He's not tolerating racism, he's promoting racism."
Democrat Presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke lashes out after an emotional day, telling the press to "connect the dots about what [Trump] has been doing in the country" after a mass-shooting in his hometown El Paso. pic.twitter.com/zWI2t47AVY
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) August 5, 2019
While the Chronicle acknowledged that the language O’Rourke used is “not normally” considered presidential, the moment was unscripted and revealed his authenticity.
“There are times, it seems, in most presidential campaigns when the facades get stripped away like so many layers of paint,” the editorial board wrote. “What’s left is a human moment, usually fleeting, and not always flattering. But real – and often more telling than a season of advertisements.”
O’Rourke unsuccessfully ran to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in 2018. Despite continuously trailing Cruz throughout the duration of their campaigns, the race tightened to a margin of single digits in the consistently red state. Speculation of O’Rourke’s entrance into the national political arena heightened after he began to advocate against policies popular in Texas such as gun ownership and border security.
“Frankly, it’s made us wish O’Rourke would shift gears,” the editorial board wrote. “Rather than unpause his presidential campaign, we’d like to see him take a new direction.”
O’Rourke has consistently been polling below 3% for the Democratic nomination to the presidency. If he opts to launch his own challenge to incumbent Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), however, he will be joining an already crowded Democratic primary field that is still taking shape.
Christina Tzintzún Ramirez, a Democratic organizer, became the seventh primary contender after she announced her bid for the seat on Monday.
Taking advantage of the groundwork O’Rourke laid during his previous Senate run, Tzintzún Ramirez has already hired key members of the Beto for Texas campaign, including his statewide field director, statewide deputy field director, distributed organizing director, and digital programing firm, reported the Dallas Observer.
Winning Texas’ 38 electoral college votes has long been a pipe dream for Democrats. The part has not won the state in a presidential race since former President Jimmy Carter ran in 1976.
Cornyn’s office did not respond to The Daily Wire’s request for comment.
A version of this story appears on the Daily Wire website.