Former Texas Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke said Thursday that he would “absolutely” support tearing down existing barriers along the southern border with Mexico, in a full-throated embrace of open-borders rhetoric that has left conservatives wondering where other potential 2020 Democratic White House hopefuls stand on the issue.
O’Rourke’s comments came as the House and Senate passed a compromise spending billthat would partially fund President Trump’s proposed border wall, to the tune of $1.4 billion. Trump, who had been pressing for billions more, has vowed to declare a national state of emergency to fund the remainder of the project.
Amid the congressional debate, Texas GOP Rep. Dan Crenshaw wrote on Twitter earlier Thursday that he wanted O’Rourke to answer a simple question: “If you could snap your fingers and make El Paso’s border wall disappear, would you?” He cited Department of Homeland Security (DHS) figures suggesting that illegal border crossings dropped sharply in El Paso following the construction of a wall there.
MSNBC host Chris Hayes posed a version of that question to O’Rourke on-air: “Would you, if you could, would you take the wall down here — knock it down?”
“Yes, absolutely,” answered O’Rourke, who is widely thought to be a potential candidate in 2020 but has not formally announced his intention to run. “I’d take the wall down.”
Asked whether El Paso residents would support that move in a referendum, O’Rourke replied, “I do.” – READ MORE