White House Insists on Calling Beto ‘Robert Francis’: ‘That’s His Name’


White House principal deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley poked fun at former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) for his “Beto” moniker, telling Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” on Thursday that President Donald Trump and White House officials will refer to him as “Robert Francis” during the 2020 presidential campaign.

O’Rourke — born Robert Francis O’Rourke in El Paso, Texas — has used the name Beto since he was a kid. It’s a common Hispanic nickname for people named Roberto; El Paso is at the U.S.-Mexican border and is across from Mexico’s Ciudad Juárez.

But Republicans have accused the Irish and Welsh O’Rourke of rallying behind “Beto” so he can better identify with key Hispanic voters.

Fox News’ co-anchor Bill Hemmer asked Gidley, “Beto O’Rourke is now in the game for the Democratic primary. What does the president think about that?”

Gidley corrected Hemmer, replying, “Well, first of all, you pronounced it wrong. It’s ‘Robert Francis,’ that’s number one.”

Hemmer asked Gidley if Trump plans to refer to O’Rourke as “Robert Francis” for the duration of the presidential campaign.

“Well, he’s called him that before on the campaign trail,” said Gidley. “And why wouldn’t he? That’s his name.”

Trump and White House officials won’t be the only ones referring to O’Rourke as “Robert Francis” rather than “Beto.” The name “Robert Francis” was actually trending on Twitter on Thursday. – READ MORE

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