Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke recently stopped right here, in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, as part of the kick-off to his 2020 bid for the White House. During his visit, he addressed several controversial issues surrounding his candidacy, including writings he made as a teenager and rhetoric which had been directed at his wife.
While making his way through Iowa, O'Rourke had joked that his wife, Amy, had raised their three children, “sometimes with my help.” This drew criticism from some, who accused his attempts at humor as being insensitive to single parents. O'Rourke went on to adjust his language, agreeing that these remarks were “ham-fisted” and stating that the criticism was “right on.” "Not only will I not say that again, but I will be much more thoughtful in the ways that I talk about my marriage," O'Rourke elaborated.
O'Rourke also addressed the resurfacing of violent fiction he penned as a teenager, which emerged following a Reuters report detailing his participation in a group of hackers. Under the name “Psychedelic Warlord,” O'Rourke wrote several posts on the group's message board at age 15. "I'm mortified to read it now, incredibly embarrassed, but I have to take ownership of my words," said the candidate. "Whatever my intention was as a teenager doesn't matter, I have to look long and hard at my actions, at the language I have used, and I have to constantly try to do better."
O'Rourke, a former Texas congressman, entered the 2020 presidential race earlier in March after months of questions surrounding whether he would run or not. His latest campaign follows a failed 2018 Senate race against Republican Ted Cruz, in which he made headlines for raising $80 million in grassroots donations.
O'Rourke's initial visit to Iowa has been well-received, with the candidate paying special attention to counties which had switched their support from the democratic party and President Barack Obama to President Donald Trump and the republicans in the 2016 presidential race. In addition to Mount Pleasant, “O'Rourke stopped by other small, rural, manufacturing towns, including Keokuk and Fairfield. Here in Mount Pleasant, the candidate made headlines for addressing supporters on top of a coffee shop counter.
Advisor Norm Sterzenbach, who's guiding O'Rourke's Iowa efforts going into 2020, said that he wanted to visit areas neglected by other politicians. "He didn't want to do big rallies or big events,” stated Sterzenbach. “He wanted to get into communities and really talk to Iowans, and he wanted to go to smaller towns, smaller communities.”
For his part, O'Rourke has promised to spend as much time in Iowa as possible during his presidential campaign. As Iowans look forward to 2020 and the pivotal role we will play in the election, ‘O'Rourke is one of many candidates we'll surely be hearing more from in the coming months.
At Danny Cornell Law, our Mount Pleasant personal injury attorney is known for taking pride in his community. We believe that part of our duty to the citizens of Mount Pleasant is to be involved in local organizations and charities, which is why experienced lawyer Danny Cornell participates in area fundraisers and events whenever possible. Our goal is to provide advocacy for those who have been seriously injured. As the 2020 presidential race approaches, we look forward to more appearances from candidates like O'Rourke in Mount Pleasant and across Iowa, and hope that politicians who visit this great community are ready to advocate seriously for it in Washington.
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