Beto O’Rourke made a return engagement to Corpus Christi, this time accompanied by one of the Kennedys, and was once again greeted by an enthusiastic crowd.
O’Rourke is currently trailing in the polls in the race for U.S. Senate against Republican incumbent Ted Cruz.
The rally was held at the East Campus of Del Mar College on Oct. 13 and comes after another rally O’Rourke held in Corpus Christi last summer. According to the campaign, there were around 1,500 people in attendance.
O’Rourke was accompanied by his personal friend, Joe Kennedy III. Kennedy is the incumbent Massachusetts Congressmen and grandson of Robert F. “Bobby” Kennedy.
The pair have been campaigning together across Texas for the past few months, making stops in places such as Houston, Tornillo and McAllen.
The rally began by introducing local Democratic candidates running for office in Corpus Christi, Nueces County and the 27th Congressional district.
Despite being almost half an hour late to start, the crowd seemed to remain energetic and optimistic. Kennedy was the first to take the stage, giving a short speech on his experiences serving with O’Rourke in Washington D.C.
O’Rourke took the stage next, rolling across on his skateboard while waving to the crowd. After cheers and applause died down, O’Rourke started his speech with a tribute to law enforcement officers and veterans saying, “I can not help but notice and thank our police officers here today, who have one of the hardest jobs you can imagine; who are not thanked enough for their sacrifice and being there for one another, and those veterans here who have served as far back as World War II, Korea and came back from Vietnam to a country who didn’t quite understand the significance of their service.”
Throughout his speech, O’Rourke spoke in both English and Spanish.
“Before we start the next war or renew the wars we already in” O’Rourke said, “let’s answer these questions. What is victory? What is our strategy to achieve it? Why do we fight? Why do we ask you potentially sacrifice your life? Why do we ask you to take the lives of others in the name of this country? We should be able to answer these questions.”
O’Rourke went on to say, “Joe mentioned the unique role that Texas plays in defining the future of immigration, our connection to the rest of the world.” He then spoke of his home saying, “El Paso, the city in which I was born and raised … the city that Ciudad Juarez joined by the Rio Grande not separated by a wall forms the largest binational community in the northern hemisphere.”
After sharing personal stories with the audience, O’Rourke said, “On another issue, one of public service, who thinks it’s okay that in this state nearly half of school teachers are working a second job and many working a third?” He went on to say, “It’s been 13 years since 2005 that this state last paid a cost of living adjustment for our retired teachers, but then get this: The retired teachers here know this and the rest of us must become aware. Last year, to add insult and indignity to injury, this state doubled the healthcare cost of retired teachers.”
The rally lasted approximately an hour, with O’Rourke speaking on more issues such as healthcare, immigration and the current administration. Afterwards, the crowd dispersed, taking dozens of signs, flyers and shirts with them.
Early voting begins Oct. 22.