You know what they say about how to tell when a politician is lying, right?
His lips are moving.
It’s not often that we get such a golden opportunity to call politicians, especially presidential hopefuls, out on their frequent truth-stretching. So, when such a momentous occasion arises—say, for example, catching a trendy Democrat accepting donations from lobbyists and members of an industry his party equates with Satan himself—you’ve got to take it and run.
Last week, Beto O’Rourke was campaigning in New Hampshire on the long, hard road to the 2020 primaries. At a town hall event in Somersworth, things went a little awry for the lanky Dem.
O’Rourke, who has made it the cornerstone of his campaign promises that he refuses to accept any money from PACs, lobbyists, or special interest groups. So, when an angry voter, albeit an apparent leftist environmentalist, called O’Rourke out on the fact that he did take several such donations, things got awkward fast.
Best of all? The whole exchange is forever immortalized on video:
Beto is confronted at a town hall meeting after saying he doesn't take money from lobbyists and admits he took money from lobbyists.
Posted by Caleb Howe on Saturday, April 20, 2019
“As you also know, I take no money from any lobbyist for any organization,” Beto pontificated to his fawning audience, giving a woman in the back of the room the perfect moment to interject:
“Two-hundred and fifty dollars from a Chevron lobbyist on March 29th,” she yelled.
O’Rourke passed the microphone through the crowd to the woman, saying, “so you don’t have to shout.”
Once she got a hold of that mic, though, Beto was probably wishing she hadn’t.
“Beto, I was really inspired to see that you said you would not take money from fossil fuel executives. But I looked it up and you did,” she said. “You took the max contribution from eight different fossil fuel industry CEOs and executives, and a lobbyist from Chevron on March 29.”
She added that O’Rourke’s seemingly frequent acceptance of money from the oil industry “makes it hard for us to believe that you’re going to keep your promises to address the climate crisis.”
The woman continued to grill Beto, demanding to know if he truly “stands with the millions of people affected by the climate crisis” or not. And if he does, she contended, he should “prove it today by returning that dirty money,” referring to the eight max donations.
When O’Rourke got the mic back, he admitted she was correct. Well, actually, in his attempt to tapdance through an ethical minefield, Beto only owned up to a fraction of the charges against him.
“So, you’re right, I was just told as we drove in that we accepted on one of the last days of the FEC filing period a check from a lobbyist, we are returning that check from the lobbyist,” he admitted.
One check. The dude is magnifying himself and his self-sacrificing after promising to return $250 to one lobbyist, just one of the eight (that we know of).
Allowing the applause for his magnanimous deed to settle down, O’Rourke declined the rest of the woman’s challenge, including her suggestion to sign some sort of pledge to codify his refusal to accept money from anyone in the fossil fuel industry. “I’m not going to write off an entire industry and group of people,” he said.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The “climate crisis” is a dubious one at best. Fossil fuel lobbyist money shouldn’t be considered “dirty”. Still, you’ve got to love it when a self-righteous Dem gets their butt handed to them by one of their own.
That’s gonna hurt when the next round of polls comes around.