| June 14, 2019 03:00 PM
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, unloaded this week on 2020 front-runner Joe Biden, characterizing the former vice president as an antiquated relic from a less progressive and less inclusive time.
So I guess this means Biden will not be asking the former Texas congressman to serve as his running mate after all.
“You cannot go back to the end of the Obama administration and think that that’s good enough,” O’Rourke said this week during an appearance on MSNBC. “As much of a horror show as Trump has been — his racism, the disaster of his foreign policy, his punishment of farmers and workers here in this country — we had real problems before Donald Trump became president.”
The MSNBC host then asked the former congressman and onetime Democratic wunderkind, “Is Joe Biden a return to the past?”
“He is,” said O’Rourke. “And that cannot be who we are going forward. We’ve got to be bigger, we’ve got to be bolder. We have to set a much higher mark and be relentless in pursuing that.”
He added that whoever wins the 2020 Democratic nomination must be about more than just “defeating” the current White House resident.
“I’m not exactly sure what [Biden] believes or what he should apologize for. I only know that this country should be able to do far better,” O’Rourke said.
“You’ve got to ask yourself where Joe Biden is on the issues that are most important to you,” he continued, not letting up even a little bit. “Did he support the war in Iraq that forever destabilized the Middle East? Did he really believe that women of lower incomes should be able to make their own decisions about their own body, to be able to afford healthcare in order to do that? He supported the Hyde Amendment; he now opposes the Hyde Amendment.”
That is — that is all true, actually. None of what O’Rourke said is inaccurate or even unfair.
Biden did flip and then flop, and then flip again, on his support for an amendment barring federal funds for abortions. And all because progressives yelled at him. Biden supported the Hyde Amendment and similar provisions, including one he even named after himself, for more than 40 years. All that changed last week when Biden claimed that conservative opposition to abortion convinced him that, uh, the federal government should fund abortion. Good luck figuring that one out.
I am just a little surprised to hear this accurate criticism come from the same 2020 candidate who signed a pledge not to attack fellow Democrats in the primary.
But I suppose the attack makes sense, considering O’Rourke’s campaign has been off to a disappointing start. He is polling in sixth place behind Biden; Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg; and Sen. Kamala Harris D-Calif., according to the RealClearPolitics polling average. In other words, it is probably not where the “I’m just born to be in it” candidate was hoping to find himself at this point in the Democratic primary.
Then again, there is always time for O’Rourke to catch up to his opponents. Perhaps a few more attacks like the one he launched against Biden will do the trick.