2018-11-07 / News

Overflow crowd welcomes Beto

by Allen Essex


ROBERT “BETO” O’ROURKE, popular Democratic Party challenger to U.S. Sen Ted Cruz, speaks to a packed house Thursday at the L.E. Franks Tourist Center in Raymondville. (Photo by Allen Essex) ROBERT “BETO” O’ROURKE, popular Democratic Party challenger to U.S. Sen Ted Cruz, speaks to a packed house Thursday at the L.E. Franks Tourist Center in Raymondville. (Photo by Allen Essex) Senate candidate Robert “Beto” O’Rourke entered Raymondville’s L.E. Franks Tourist Center late Thursday morning like a hurricane, greeted with chants of Beto-Beto- Beto!

The former El Paso-area congressman has campaigned at a frenzied pace in every corner of Texas in his bid to defeat Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz. O’Rourke is working long hours to convince Hispanic residents of border communities he can represent them better than Cruz.

But, O’Rourke said, he is running for the Senate in hopes of representing everyone, Republicans, Democrats and independents and has no animosity toward any group.

Introduced by U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Brownsville, O’Rourke launched into an attack on Cruz and Trump for their isolationist attitude. According to O’Rourke, they want to build more walls and deploy soldiers to keep out immigrants from Central America, denigrating refugees as rapists, murderers and a burden on the American economy.

“The United States of America is the greatest country the planet has ever known, because we are a people from the planet, from all walks of life, all corners of the globe, coming here to the United States of America, from the many, creating one, creating something extraordinary,” O’Rourke said.

Ted Cruz echoes the words and policies of President Trump, perpetuating a climate of fear and distrust of immigrants who come to the southern border seeking a better life, O’Rourke said.

“This paranoia, this fear comes from the highest positions of power and public trust, from those who want us to feel about one another, being scared of someone based on where they came from, who their parents are, the color of their skin, the language they spoke before they spoke English.”

The caravans of asylum seekers are coming to America because of the message of the Statue of Liberty, he said. America should be leading the world in welcoming immigrants, not shutting them out, O’Rourke said.

He and his wife and children, although they live in another time zone in El Paso, are part of the border community, O’Rourke said. His children go to public school and receive help at home, sometimes in English, sometimes in Spanish, and will be completely bilingual.

Before entering the tourist center, O’Rourke posed for photos with Raymondville Bearkats football players and welcomed everyone who asked for an autograph, who wanted to take a “selfie” with him, or who wanted to ask a question.

After the rally, he stood in the parking lot as Willacy County residents waited to have a photo taken of the politician.

Return to top

Click here for digital edition
2018-11-07 digital edition