A Hollywood Darling is Beaten by the Texas Border



Despite a record $70 million and glowing press coverage, Texas Democrat Robert “Beto” O’Rourke came up short in his bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz. Blame it on Beto’s tin ear at the border.

While a fawning media hailed the boyish 46-year-old congressman from El Paso as a “rock star” with deep-pocketed donors in California, O’Rourke’s positions on immigration didn’t play nearly so well across the Lone Star State.

Blithely ignoring the costs and crime associated with illegal immigration in his state, O’Rourke stumped for an “end [to]the militarization of our immigration enforcement system,” citizenship for “Dreamers,” a “modernized visa system to allow U.S. employers to find workers for jobs that American workers can’t fill,” and “legalizing the status of millions of immigrants already in our country.”

That agenda – shadowed by migrant caravans trudging north through Mexico — left the field wide open for Cruz and other Texas Republicans to pound away at border security, and the urgent need to repair this nation’s broken immigration laws. These are winning positions in Texas, where, it should be noted, 40 percent of the population is Hispanic.

Though other issues were also in play, neither O’Rourke’s open borders talking points nor his prodigious bankroll could save him. Had he made even a modest bow to public concerns about the border, Hollywood’s darling might have swung the election.

Beyond Texas and the Beto-Cruz contest, other elections were a mixed bag, with some immigration-enforcement candidates winning and others going down to defeat. But in Texas, which is on the front lines of massive influxes of migrants, waffling on the border did not sit well with voters.

Brenda Brauch, an Austin resident who identified herself as an independent voter, told The New York Times that the immigration issue had her siding with Cruz, whom O’Rourke outspent 2-to-1.

“I don’t want open borders,” she said. “There should be the right way to come into a country and the wrong way.” Speaking of O’Rourke, she averred, “I like his enthusiasm, but I think he’s missing some points.”

To their discredit, Texas Democrats like O’Rourke still haven’t learned that immigration enforcement is a unifying, winning issue. Strong immigration laws are the key to a safer, more prosperous, cohesive and environmentally sound country.

Mainstream media outlets also remain in deep denial. After Cruz’s victory, the Washington Post gushed that O’Rourke “emerged as a major player in the Democratic Party heading into 2020.” Not one mention of immigration.

Media credulity was on display throughout the campaign as every big-city newspaper in Texas endorsed O’Rourke. Toward the end, however, the Dallas Morning News lost patience and demanded that the candidate clarify his dodgy positions on the caravan and other immigration issues. He didn’t.

On Tuesday, Beto and his party went zero-for-eight in Texas’s statewide races. At the top of the ticket, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, running on a tough border-security platform, trounced Lupe Valdez, a former sanctuary sheriff in Dallas, by a dozen points. Until Democrats effectively address the issue of immigration, they will continue to lose elections across the Lone Star State, no matter how much money they spend.

About Author

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Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.

10 Comments

  1. avatar

    The Democrats still appear unable to grasp the import of the President early on during his campaign identifying illegal migration to U.S. soil as a national issue. Everybody else weaseled on this matter. The President went on to ride this issue, among others, to the White House. Now, there, he has ordered comprehensive enforcement of existing immigration law, as the U.S. Congress intended.

    The President respects the Rule of Law and the law of the land. He has a constitutional duty to uphold the law. He does so.

    Others present as scofflaws, evidently believing the law offends their social sense.

    The President puts the interests of America and its citizens first over the interests of foreigners.

    Let us applaud the President for his efforts to enforce the law.

  2. avatar

    What a name? Beto is a communist, punk rocker using that name to try a get the Mexican voters on his side. He is for samesex marriage and abortion. O’Rourke isn’t he from Irish or Scottish descendence . Most punk rockers aren’t nothing to be glorified. Crackhead nobody. Leave Texas while it’s still safe to return to Commiefornia.

    • avatar

      Yep! I’m a person of color. I’ve read up on Caesar Chavez – American “fruit picker” trying to defend the industry against illegal immigrants. I’m a nationalist because I care about poor black factory workers, poor white construction workers, poor Latino landscapers – and their wages being undercut by illegals who are subsidized by us. The irony is, liberal globalists want universal healthcare. …at least they pretend to because universal care requires national sovereignty. The order of the day is open borders. It’s bipartisan and it’s precisely what George HW Bush was talking about when he said, “New World Order.” So, ‘nationalism’ must be demonized to normalize globalism.

  3. avatar

    Go Mr. Ted Cruz! You did not have to waste as much money as the other party, You were called for a great purpose to make America great again!

  4. avatar

    One of the first things Trump should do is appoint an Attorney General who has never served in Congress. Give Sessions credit. He was the first Senator to endorse Trump because of his immigration policies and he himself reversed the Obama non enforcement policies. But he was compromised by his friendships with those he served with. If the Democrats want to do “investigations” then Trump needs to appoint some hard as# who is going to take a real look at the things like Hillary’s e-mails. A special counsel would not be a bad idea.

    It is a FACT that a large number of our contacts in Iran and China were eliminated during the Obama administration at virtually the same time that Hillary was using her unsecured server. And during the investigation of that, her aides were allowed to destroy their phones and laptops. And that should be just the start. Namely the fact that the Obama administration sold 20% of our uranium reserves to Russia while the companies that benefited from that gave a hundred million to the Clinton slush fund, aka the “Clinton Foundation”. By some huge coincidence, “contributions” to the foundation virtually dried up after she left office.

    The media is never going to pay attention to this stuff, so if the other side wants to play, then Trump should say you are going to get what you ask for. Why shouldn’t he? The left will have a cow, but they do that no matter what he does.

  5. Pingback: 'Beto' - A Hollywood Darling is Beaten by the Texas Border | San Antonio Tea Party

  6. avatar

    Sir, you’re missing the bigger picture. Once the Left commits sufficient human smuggling into Texas, little things like “issues” won’t matter. The Libtards will have critical mass – enough poor illegals demanding Free Stuff and voting illegally, enabled by Virtue Signaling whites, to win elections on ethnic identity politics alone.

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