“This extraordinary, unprecedented focus of wealth and energy and privilege have to be damaged aside, and alternative have to be shared with all,” he stated Saturday morning within the first giant rally of his presidential marketing campaign.
Talking Spanish, he stated he would combat for a rustic wherein gender, ethnicity and a household’s time in the US usually are not boundaries to voting and financial participation.
The previous Texas congressman launched his bid for the 2020 Democratic nomination two weeks in the past. Again in his house state after a tour of the early-voting states and the higher Midwest, O’Rourke held his first giant public rallies Saturday — beginning in El Paso, the place police stated a crowd of 1,000 to 2,000 had gathered, with hundreds extra anticipated in Houston and Austin later within the day.
Saturday’s first occasion was billed by his marketing campaign as its official kickoff, with greater than 1,000 launch events deliberate throughout the nation.
Its staging, at an intersection dotted by native companies on El Paso Road, was designed to play up O’Rourke’s standing as the one candidate within the 2020 Democratic subject who hails from a border metropolis.
In her introduction, Democratic Rep. Veronica Escobar — who holds O’Rourke’s former seat in Congress — referred to as El Paso “the capital of the border; the brand new Ellis Island.” O’Rourke’s spouse Amy described him on their first date as “attempting to alter my life’s course and get me to offer El Paso a shot.”
O’Rourke, who drew hundreds to a march and rally to counter President Donald Trump’s go to to El Paso earlier this yr, argued that town’s success undercuts Trump’s rhetoric.
“We’re secure as a result of we’re a metropolis of immigrants and asylum-seekers. We’ve got realized to not concern our variations, however to respect and embrace them,” O’Rourke stated. “We see the languages spoken on this group — the traditions and cultures — as a energy for El Paso.”
O’Rourke pointed to the worldwide bridge between El Paso and Ciudad Juárez simply blocks down the road, the place he had this week visited asylum-seekers being detained there.
“They’re our fellow human beings and need to be handled like our fellow human beings,” he stated.
Till now, O’Rourke had caught to smaller occasions in espresso retailers, bars and school quads — spending most of his time fielding questions from his audiences. On Saturday, transitioning between English and Spanish, he laid out his personal imaginative and prescient.
He solid the US as pushed by “gross variations in alternative and end result” in schooling, financial development and felony justice. He sought to set the phrases of the 2020 presidential election as one wherein voters should “free our establishments of our seize and corruption,” and advised the gang it did not matter who individuals had voted for within the earlier election.
“For too lengthy on this nation, the highly effective have maintained their privilege on the expense of the powerless. They’ve used concern and division in the identical method that our present president makes use of concern and division — based mostly on the variations between us of race, of ethnicity, of geography or faith, to maintain us aside, to make us offended, to make us afraid of ourselves and each other,” O’Rourke stated, with out utilizing Trump’s title.
“Unrestrained cash and affect has warped the priorities of this nation. It has corrupted our democracy. It has invited the cynicism and the mistrust and the disengagement of thousands and thousands of our fellow Individuals,” he stated.
O’Rourke stated if elected, he would search a “new Voting Rights Act” that will mandate automated and same-day voter registration, finish gerrymandering and “get massive cash out of our politics.”
He launched his marketing campaign with the identical pledge he made in the course of the 2018 Texas Senate race, the place he shattered fundraising data regardless of a slim loss: He is not accepting cash from political motion committees. He stated Saturday he’s working “with individuals, not companies and PACs, however individuals who come collectively.”
He additionally started laying out a collection of coverage proposals.
O’Rourke stated he would search to “free each single Dreamer of any concern of deportation,” referring to undocumented immigrants who have been introduced into the US as kids. “Let’s carry thousands and thousands extra out of the shadows,” he stated.
O’Rourke stated he backed an enlargement of well being protection that will hold personal insurers in place — a step wanting different Democratic presidential contenders who’ve backed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ single-payer well being plan — however enable anybody to purchase into Medicare. Doing so, he stated, would make “everybody in a position to see a physician, everybody in a position to afford their prescription, everybody in a position to take their baby to see a therapist.”
He argued for federally funded common pre-kindergarten, elevated instructor pay and free increased schooling.
“Let’s additionally insist that we’ll not proceed to decrease the facility of unions. We are going to strengthen unions on this nation,” stated O’Rourke, who has at instances been criticized by unions, partially for his refusal to take cash from their PACs.
He repeated his requires the legalization of marijuana, expungement of the felony data of these convicted for marijuana possession and an finish to money bail. He stated the US should confront “the legacy and the results of slavery and segregation.”