Why Beto O’Rourke’s bid for Texas governor could be a challenge for Biden as well as Republicans

Former congressman is indicating a rightward shift after 2020 presidential bid that could play into GOP talking points, write John Bowden

Thursday 18 November 2021 16:44
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O'Rourke criticises Biden on border

Former congressman Beto O’Rourke, who launched his bid to be the next governor of Texas this week, is already proving that his candidacy could be more of a challenge than a boon to national Democrats including President Joe Biden ahead of next year’s midterms.

The Texas Democrat found himself squarely in the progressive lane of the 2020 Democratic primary during his short-run bid for the White House last year, not as left-leaning as Senator Bernie Sanders but firmly more liberal than Mr Biden thanks to his call for a legalisation of marijuana at the federal level, opposition to the death penalty, support of a public option for healthcare, and famously tough stance on guns including support for a total ban on AR-15s.

Part of that leftward bent in the 2020 primary included a progressive immigration policy, which he unveiled in May of 2019, that called for increasing staff at ports of entry to reduce wait times, streamlining the asylum process, increasing visa caps, halting construction of former President Donald Trump’s border wall, and more.

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