Beto O’Rourke, the former Democratic congressman and presidential candidate, said Sunday that his campaign for governor of Texas won’t be about President Biden before going on to criticize the president’s “lack of urgency” on immigration issues.
O’Rourke, who announced his bid for the governorship on Monday, was questioned during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” about whether he would invite Biden to campaign for him in Texas.
“This campaign in Texas is not going to be about Joe Biden, it’s not going to be about Donald Trump, it’s not going to be about anyone outside of our state,” O’Rourke said. “This is going to be about the people of Texas and what the people of Texas want.”
Democrat Beto O’Rourke, center, claps for supporters during a campaign stop, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, in San Antonio. O’Rourke announced Monday that he will run for Texas governor. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Anchor Dana Bash followed up, asking if O’Rourke would prefer that Biden did not campaign for him amid poll numbers that show just 35% of Texans support the president.
“I’m focused on Texas and on my fellow Texans,” O’Rourke said. “Those are the people most important to me. There is no politician, there is no other person from outside of this state who can help change the course of this election for better or for worse.”
However, Tim Murtaugh, former communications director for former President Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign, questioned where O’Rourke’s campaign was receiving support from.
“Where are his donations coming from?” Murtaugh tweeted.
O’Rourke later criticized Biden on immigration when asked whether the president’s immigration policy was contributing to surges at the southern border.
“I do not think we have seen enough urgency when it comes to rewriting our immigration laws to match the needs and the reality that we see, especially in our border communities,” O’Rourke said. “So, yes, we expect more of our president and those who represent us in Congress.”
He then blasted Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, accusing the Republican of using the crisis at the southern border “as a photo opportunity, scapegoating and vilifying immigrants.”
The Biden administration has been tackling a massive crisis at the southern border since shortly after it came into office. More than 1.7 million migrants were encountered in Fiscal Year 2021, and more than 192,000 migrants were encountered in September alone.