Democrat Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s 1998 DWI arrest has become a campaign issue, mostly because of how he’s been dealing with it. Whether it’s avoidance, excuses or outright dissembling, Ted Cruz’s senatorial challenger isn’t exactly racking up points with potential Texas voters.
The latest issue involving the 20-year-old incident arose during a debate with Cruz on Friday, when O’Rourke contradicted a police report which stated that he tried to flee the scene of the accident.
“I did not try to leave the scene of the accident, though driving drunk, which I did, is a terrible mistake for which there is no excuse or justification or defense,” O’Rourke said during the debate at Southern Methodist University, according to Fox News.
“I can only tell you that I was able to have a second chance in my life.”
The police report, however, didn’t exactly share O’Rourke’s view of things.
“State and local police reports obtained by the Chronicle and Express-News show that O’Rourke was driving drunk at what a witness called ‘a high rate of speed’ in a 75 mph zone on Interstate 10 about a mile from the New Mexico border,” the Houston Chronicle reported in August.
“He lost control and hit a truck, sending his car careening across the center median into oncoming lanes. The witness, who stopped at the scene, later told police that O’Rourke had tried to drive away from the scene.”
O’Rourke was allegedly prevented from leaving the scene by the motorist, who “then turned on his overhead lights to warn oncoming traffic and to try to get the defendant (O’Rourke) to stop,” the report said.
“The DPS report described O’Rourke as having ‘glossy’ eyes, slurred speech, smelling of liquor, and almost falling to the ground as he got out of his car,” the report added.
The debate Friday was the first time the candidate challenged the report that he intended to flee the scene; he had previously only acknowledged that he “drove drunk and was arrested for DWI in 1998.”
During the debate, O’Rourke also tried to spin the whole thing as a lesson on white privilege.
“I can only tell you that I was able to have a second chance in my life, was able to start a small business with good friends in El Paso, was able to meet (his wife) Amy on a blind date before Tinder,” O’Rourke said, according to Breitbart.
“I’ve made the most that I could with my second chance and my opportunity,” he added.
“What I do know is that as a white man in this country, there is a privilege that I enjoy that many African-American men and women do not.”
Does that include the privilege to avoid the truth? Or is that just a Democrat thing?
Look, people deserve second chances if they’re genuinely sorry and have learned from their mistakes. Even after 20 years, however, O’Rourke doesn’t seem able to come to terms with reality regarding his DWI. Why should we expect him to be any different in the Senate?
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