News

U.S.

Beto O’Rourke: ‘I Don’t Know’ If I’m a Progressive

Democratic Texas Senate candidate Rep. Beto O’Rourke gestures as he concedes to Senator Ted Cruz at his midterm election night party in El Paso, Texas, November 6, 2018. (Adria Malcolm/REUTERS)

Representative Beto O’Rourke said Friday that he does not know if he is a progressive, and that he is “not big on labels.”

“I don’t know,” O’Rourke said when asked whether he could accurately be described as progressive. “I’m just, as you may have seen and heard over the course of the campaign, I’m not big on labels. I don’t get all fired up about party or classifying or defining people based on a label or a group. I’m for everyone.”

The former Senate candidate, who lost in November to incumbent conservative Ted Cruz, defended his record of striking a delicate balance between a Democratic party moving increasingly leftward and the needs of constituents from traditionally conservative Texas.

“I am who I am,” O’Rourke said. “I laid out my vision for Texas and this country over the last two years without taking a single poll to find out where people were on the issues or how popular it was or how it would track in this community or that — said the same thing in Amarillo that I said in Houston, Texas, so I mean, go figure.”

As he considers a 2020 presidential run, O’Rourke has been criticized both for being too progressive and for being insufficiently left-wing. Some liberals have criticized his acceptance of donations from oil-industry workers and worry that he will not fit in with a Democratic party that is rapidly shifting to the left. Conservatives, meanwhile, have decried his support of Medicare for All and left-leaning policies on immigration, climate change, drug legalization, and the military.

Most Popular

White House

On the Bidens, Schiff Opened the Door

You opened the door. Trial lawyers live in fear of that phrase. When a trial starts, both sides know what the allegations are. Both have had enough discovery to know what the adversary will try to prove. Just as significantly, both know what their own vulnerabilities are. A litigator spends his pretrial ... Read More
White House

On the Bidens, Schiff Opened the Door

You opened the door. Trial lawyers live in fear of that phrase. When a trial starts, both sides know what the allegations are. Both have had enough discovery to know what the adversary will try to prove. Just as significantly, both know what their own vulnerabilities are. A litigator spends his pretrial ... Read More
Elections

Buttigieg’s Hollow Military Bragging

The term “veteran” wields a strange talismanic power in American politics today; the military is almost the only institution in American life that has maintained very high favorability ratings over the past 30 years. Invocation of the sacred words “military service” invariably grants a presumed license to ... Read More
Elections

Buttigieg’s Hollow Military Bragging

The term “veteran” wields a strange talismanic power in American politics today; the military is almost the only institution in American life that has maintained very high favorability ratings over the past 30 years. Invocation of the sacred words “military service” invariably grants a presumed license to ... Read More
White House

Impeachment Doesn’t Require a Crime

Senate Republicans, by and large, have reached an unspoken consensus about President Trump and Ukraine. He should not have put a temporary freeze on congressionally authorized aid to Ukraine, should not have dabbled with using the aid to get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden or a nutty theory about Ukrainian ... Read More
White House

Impeachment Doesn’t Require a Crime

Senate Republicans, by and large, have reached an unspoken consensus about President Trump and Ukraine. He should not have put a temporary freeze on congressionally authorized aid to Ukraine, should not have dabbled with using the aid to get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden or a nutty theory about Ukrainian ... Read More
World

Alarmists Were Wrong about the Soleimani Strike

Two weeks ago, the United States seemed on the brink of starting another war in the Middle East after a drone strike killed Iran’s most notorious spymaster, Qasem Soleimani, as he departed an international airport in Baghdad. The shadowy general, in charge of the Iranian equivalent of the CIA, was one of the ... Read More
World

Alarmists Were Wrong about the Soleimani Strike

Two weeks ago, the United States seemed on the brink of starting another war in the Middle East after a drone strike killed Iran’s most notorious spymaster, Qasem Soleimani, as he departed an international airport in Baghdad. The shadowy general, in charge of the Iranian equivalent of the CIA, was one of the ... Read More
Media

The Denver Post Has a Personnel Problem

The Denver Post has fired the wrong person. It should can its incompetent opinion editor, Megan Schrader. The story (told by our Madeleine Kearns here) is this: Jon Caldara of the Denver-based Independence Institute had long written a weekly column for the Denver Post, but was fired over taking an ... Read More
Media

The Denver Post Has a Personnel Problem

The Denver Post has fired the wrong person. It should can its incompetent opinion editor, Megan Schrader. The story (told by our Madeleine Kearns here) is this: Jon Caldara of the Denver-based Independence Institute had long written a weekly column for the Denver Post, but was fired over taking an ... Read More