Beto O’Rourke first entered politics in 2005 when he was elected to the El Paso City Council as mayor pro-term. He served on the City Council until 2011. In 2012, O’Rourke campaigned to represent Texas’s 16th congressional district in the U.S House of Representatives. He won the primary and remained in office from 2013 to 2018. O’Rourke served on the Armed services and Veterans’ Affairs Committees and he is a member of the New Democrat Coalition and the Congressional Arts Caucus. While in office, O’Rourke emphasized immigrant rights and reforming mental health resources for veterans. On March 13, 2019, El Paso TC station KTSM-TV announced O’Rourke’s candidacy for the Democratic nomination.
On the Issues
AAI tracks the official and campaign-trail statements of each presidential candidate on the issues we care about most.
Click on an issue to read what Beto O'Rourke has said on the campaign trail.
For our take on why these are the 12 issues that are most important to our community, read here.
- "We need to make sure that this democracy, so badly damaged, works for everyone."(5/26/2019, CBS)
"... Our institutions of power – Congress as the most telling example – have been captured and corrupted by special interests corporations, especially after 2010’s Supreme Court decision on citizens united – that they are equated to people and money is speech and they can spend unlimited amounts to not just affect but I would argue purchase the outcomes of elections and legislation. Meanwhile, you have people locked out of their democracy. I mentioned the racist gerrymandering in Texas; but Stacey Abrams would be Governor right now of Georgia, but for the fact the Secretary of State could, successfully and legally, purge hundreds of thousands of Voters from the roles in that state – could serve as the referee in the competition where he was a competitor and crown himself [00:13:00] victor at the end of it. So how do we meet this challenge? We free ourselves from the influence of corporate interests and special interests by removing political action committees from federal elections. We make sure that we restore faith in our elections by having paper ballots or paper receipts for every ballot cast.
We audit those elections that take place. We ensure that we have the resources to stop future foreign interference and guarantee that there are consequences in this country and outside of this country for those who have welcomed or participated in undermining the world’s greatest democracy. And then we bring people in; we call for 55 million more Americans to be registered over the next four years through automatic and same-day voter registration, ensuring those who’ve been criminally justice involved are not denied their rights to vote – once they’ve paid their debt to society – and then we make sure that barriers in place like those voter roll purges [00:14:00] or voter ID laws that we have in Texas are removed through a new Voting Rights Act; and then ensure greater access to the ballot box through a national election day holiday to make sure we make it easier for people to cast their vote and ensure that their voice is heard in our democracy. We do all that and so many more things become possible. (6/21/19, Pod Save America)
Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
ACLU: There have been repeated attempts at the federal and state level to introduce legislation that would restrict the right to boycott, and punish those who participate in political boycotts against Israel, such as the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Regardless of where you stand on the issue of BDS, political boycotts are a constitutional right and a fundamental part of free speech and expression under the First Amendment, which includes the right to protest. Do you oppose legislation that impedes or prohibits political boycotts, including with regard to BDS?
O'ROURKE: Yes. While all Americans should have a right to boycott, both at home and abroad, Beto believes we must support the State of Israel to ensure peace in the region for both Israelis and Palestinains, and work toward a two-state solution -- a solution the Global BDS movement does not support. [ACLU Candidate Questionnaire].
“Today, as president, I will sign into law a new Voting Rights Act. I will focus on education, address health care disparities, but I will also sign into law Sheila Jackson Lee's reparations bill so that we can have the national conversation we've waited too long in this country to have.” (7/30/2019 Democratic Debate, transcript, NBC)
- "The fact that this country is so riven by partisanship – being diminished everyday by a President who will stop at nothing to secure evermore greater powers for himself – might distract us from the fact that for African Americans in this country from the inception of this country – this country has not worked for them. And in fact has been actively keeping them down by law and out of greatness and economic success. So one of the most obvious examples of people point to is the fact that we lock up almost two and a half million of our fellow Americans, many there for nonviolent drug crimes, disproportionally comprised of people of color, but it’s not just that it’s the economy where there’s 10 times the wealth in White America than Black America, Health Care outcomes where you have a maternal mortality crisis in this country that is three times as deadly for women of color, education in a kindergarten classroom – a four or five year old child is five times as likely to be disciplined or suspended or expelled if she is a child of color. So for the [00:11:00] vice president to somehow say that what we’re seeing in this country today is a function of partisanship or a lack of bipartisanship completely ignores the legacy of slavery and the act of suppression of African Americans in communities of color right now. So we’ve got to be focused on the future and again it means bringing people in, especially those who’ve been locked out and estranged from having any ability to participate in the success of this country." (6/21/19, Pod Save America)
Securitization and Surveillance
- "But you also talked about our right to privacy, and this is something that we are acutely sensitive to here in El Paso, where our Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure really have been suspended because of our location on the border. We have border patrol checks well into the interior of the U.S. Even if you have not been in Ciudad Juarez earlier today, you will be stopped. You'll be asked to show your papers. You have a different expectation of privacy in this country. When you add to that the challenges that we have in a digital economy, social media - Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat - we need to be far more vigorous in being able to protect our privacy, our data. And as president, I will make that a priority...." (10/9/2019, NPR)
We must not sacrifice Americans’ rights under the guise of national security. The House just voted on a bill called the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act. I voted no. This bill would extend a government program authorized by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that authorizes the National Security Agency (NSA) to collect the communications of those outside of the United States. Sounds straight forward, but we know in the past this program has also captured the private communications of Americans. The FBI can then search the communications of those Americans without a warrant, which would normally be prohibited by the 4th Amendment of the Constitution. That’s why back in October, I helped introduce a bipartisan bill called the USA RIGHTS Act. Our legislation reforms Section 702 to ensure that our intelligence communities can conduct foreign surveillance of terrorists while also requiring a warrant to look at Americans’ communications. I believe it’s critical to provide Americans this basic privacy protection. Today, I joined many of my colleagues in voting for an amendment that would bring the bill on the floor in line with the USA RIGHTS Act. I think that’s the right way forward, and I’ll keep doing everything I can to push for this type of approach. (1/11/2018, Medium)
- In 2013, O'Rourke was a co-sponsor of H.R. 2399, the Limiting Internet and Blanket Electronic Review of Telecommunications and Email Act (LIBERT-E Act), restricts the federal government's ability under the Patriot Act to collect information on Americans who are not connected to an ongoing investigation. The bill also requires that secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court opinions be made available to Congress and summaries of the opinions be made available to the public. (Congress.gov)
“We'll call his racism out for what it is, and also talk about its consequences. It doesn't just offend our sensibilities to hear him say "send her back," about a member of Congress, because she's a woman color, because she's a Muslim-American doesn't just offend our sensibilities when he calls Mexican immigrants "rapists and criminals," or seeks to ban all Muslims from the shores of a country that's comprised of people from the world over, from every tradition of faith. It is also changing this country. Hate crimes are in the rise -- every single one of the last three years, on the day that he signed his executive order attempting to ban Muslim travel, the mosque in Victoria, Texas was burned to the ground. So we must not only stand up against Donald Trump and defeat him in this next election, but we must also ensure that we don't just tolerate or respect our differences, but we embrace them. That's what we've learned in El Paso, Texas -- my hometown. One of the safest cities in the United States of America, not despite, but because it's a city of immigrants and asylum seekers, and refugees. We will show that our diversity is our strength in my administration” (7/30/2019 Democratic Debate, transcript, NBC)
- And when you have people who traffic in hatred and violence and incitement based on race or religion or the differences that should not matter, it helps to explain some of the rise in public hatred that we see right now, you know, right outside the United States Capitol I think very recently. Charlottesville, Virginia, just a couple of years ago and a President who then says that klansmen and Nazis and white supremacists are very fine people. He’s in part responding to a base that has been nurtured in in these online communities – unfettered and undisturbed, especially by the [00:30:00] platforms that enable this. And so I think expecting far more out of Facebook and Twitter and other digital platforms where people congregate – to combat this kind of hatred and also to acknowledge that that really young people are on there and are receiving an education in intolerance that’s going to manifest itself in violence, you’ve seen a rise in hate crimes every single one of the last three years in this country and much of that is Donald Trump. But a lot of it is what is allowed to grow and exist unchallenged and unchecked. So I do see a role for government to help regulate that – I do see greater responsibility – through enforcement of these social media platforms to make sure that we’re protecting people and that everyone is able to thrive in this country without fear of our differences. (6/21/19, Pod Save America)
Criminal Justice Reform
- "My encounters with the criminal justice system did not ultimately define me or stop me from contributing to my family and community — as a father, small business owner, city council member, and congressman. But that isn’t the case for far too many of our fellow Americans, particularly those who don’t look like me or have the same privileges that I did. Instead, too many people are languishing behind bars for nonviolent crimes, often unconvicted and only there because they cannot afford bail. This leaves them unable to work, pay taxes, raise their kids, or contribute to our society. They are part of the world’s largest prison population. One comprised disproportionately of people of color; built on prosecuting. It is drawn upon here with the permission of the author and notification to the Houston Chronicle. Start by Ending the Failed War on Drugs some communities for nonviolent drug offenses and not others, even though people of all races use illegal drugs at roughly the same rate. A prison population perpetuated by a school-to-prison pipeline that starts as early as kindergarten, where a black child is five times as likely to be suspended or expelled as a white child. Many have called this the New Jim Crow, and for good reason. Our criminal justice system is stained by the same prejudices embedded in our history — that some people are less human, less equal than others. If we are to end mass incarceration, we must squarely confront the fact that every arm of the system is shaped by this legacy — from the over-policing of black and brown neighborhoods, to a judicial process marked by unequal resources, to prisons that set people up for failure rather than productive reentry. What we’re left with is a system that grossly over-incarcerates. Even by conservative estimates, at least 40 percent of the prison population could be released without compromising public safety. Across the country, brave students, activists, and advocates are laying bare this history and pointing the way forward. They continue a proud American tradition, building on the struggles of abolitionists and Freedom Riders, those who sat at the lunch counters in Greensboro and those who crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. They remind us that our progress has been purchased not by politicians, but by those who have forced the conversation and galvanized the conscience of this country. Because of their efforts, I believe we have the chance to rebuild our criminal justice system.
Here is how we make the most of this moment. First, we must end a failed war on drugs that has long been a war on people, waged on some more than others. Who is going to be the last man — more likely than not a black man — to languish behind bars for possessing marijuana when it is legal in some form in more than half the states? We must end the federal prohibition on marijuana and expunge the records of those who were locked away for possessing it. As part of this effort, we must also stop using mandatory minimum sentencing for nonviolent drug offenses — a practice that costs us dearly in both shackled human potential and a federal prison budget that has nearly doubled in the past two decades. Instead, we should begin treating addiction like the public health concern it is. Second, we should eliminate private, for-profit prisons. There is no place in our society for a multibillion-dollar industry that profits off human suffering — one that, compared to its public counterpart, often costs more, pays employees less, provides less security, and fails to maintain basic standards of care. We cannot outsource imprisonment to corporations that have a perverse profit incentive to put more people behind bars. Third, we can disrupt the cycles of poverty that trap people in a criminal justice system where they do not belong. On any given day, nearly half a million people are in jail — many for misdemeanors — because they cannot afford to post bail as I did more than 20 years ago. Let’s end the use of cash bail and provide states grants to replace these systems. I also support decriminalizing truancy. States like Texas have taken the first step by repealing laws that would allow children to be prosecuted for truancy, but the $500 fines their parents face still loom large in a system that disproportionately targets black and brown students. Fourth, we must ensure that all people are given an equal opportunity to have their rights respected by our legal system. This means reopening the federal Office of Access to Justice, launched to provide greater resources for indigent litigants in civil, criminal, and tribal courts. It means taking on prosecutorial and police misconduct with a fully-staffed Department of Justice that can conduct investigations, provide de-escalation trainings across police agencies, and institute community-based review boards to ensure accountability and transparency. And it means being vigilant about new mediums of bias, such as facial recognition technology and algorithmic sentencing. Finally, we should provide meaningful reentry reforms to help reduce recidivism. That starts with strong rehabilitation services, counseling, and access to preventative health care. It continues by banning the box on job applications so the formerly incarcerated can work and pay taxes, returning drivers licenses, allowing them to apply for loans that can unlock skills trainings, and ensuring their constitutional right to vote is protected. At the end of the day, this is about ensuring that every single one of us — regardless of race, ethnicity, or class — can live to our full potential with equal rights and equal dignity. If we are willing to listen to our fellow Americans and reckon with our history, we can build a future that is more just, more fair, and more prosperous for every single person. The time to act is now." (5/16/19, Brennan Center)
Bigoted Speech: Instances of Condemnation and/or Use
DAVIS: ...Since we're here at an HBCU, I'd like to start with young black voters. Several recent polls indicate their number-one concern is racism. This campus, this state, and this nation are still raw from that racially motivated attack on Latinos in El Paso.Now, we know that the racial divide started long before President Trump and President Obama, but each of you on this stage has said that President Trump has made that divide worse. Congressman O'Rourke, coming to you first, why are you the most qualified candidate to address this divide?
O’ROURKE: You know, I called this out in no uncertain terms on August 3rd and every day since then. And I was talking about it long before then, as well. Racism in America is endemic. It is foundational. We can mark the creation of this country not at the Fourth of July, 1776, but August 20, 1619, when the first kidnapped African was brought to this country against his will and in bondage and as a slave built the greatness and the success and the wealth that neither he nor his descendants would ever be able to fully participate in and enjoy. We have to be able to answer this challenge. And it is found in our education system, where in Texas, a 5-year-old child in kindergarten is five times as likely to be disciplined or suspended or expelled based on the color of their skin. In our health care system, where there's a maternal mortality crisis three times as deadly for women of color, or the fact that there's 10 times the wealth in white America than there is in black America. I'm going to follow Sheila Jackson Lee's lead and sign into law a reparations bill that will allow us to address this at its foundation. But we will also call out the fact that we have a white supremacist in the White House and he poses a mortal threat to people of color all across this country. (9/12/2019, third Democratic debate transcript at ABC)
This [President Trump’s tweets] is racist. These congresswomen are every bit as American as you — and represent our values better than you ever will.” (7/14/19, Twitter)
- “I think it’s not just Democrats who are outraged. It’s Americans, especially Americans of good conscience because this is not an anomaly. A president who described Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals, who said that the Klan were very fine people, who sought to ban all Muslims, all people of one religion from this country, called the press the enemy of the people, this is the road to fascism and tyranny.” (7/23/2019, The View)
- "The president has trained our focus on the U.S. Mexico border in an attempt to try to scare us about Mexicans – whom he described as rapists and criminals – about Caravans that are coming to get us about asylum seekers. He’s described them as an infestation. He’s described them as animals. I think it’s only when you use language like that that you get kids in cages. That you are able to deport their mom’s back to the countries from which they fled. That you end up separating families and creating this kind of cruelty that seems so unamerican and yet is happening in this country right now."(6/21/19, Pod Save America)
- “...In my administration, after we have waived citizenship fees for green card holders, more than 9 million of our fellow Americans; freed DREAMers from any fear of deportation; and stopped criminally prosecuting families and children for seeking asylum and refuge; end for-profit detention in this country; and then assist... those countries in Central America so that no family ever has to make that 2,000-mile journey, than I expect that people who come here follow our laws, and we reserve the right to criminally prosecute them if they do not.” (7/30/2019 Democratic Debate, transcript, NBC)
"...Ensuring that the nine million green card holders in this country can become US citizens as quickly as possible – wave their fees – make sure that we send them pre-filled application forms with the data that they sent us when they first applied for legal permenant residency – for the more than 1 million dreamers make them US citizens, never again allow them to live in any fear of deportation to a country whose language they don’t speak where they no longer have family were if against those long odds, they’re successful – they’re going to be successful for that place not here, not your community, not our country and then the millions who are here doing the most back-breaking, the shittiest jobs that we have available in America – that no one born in America is willing to do – allow [00:21:00] them to register and get right with our government, contribute even more to our country’s success and ensure that we’re living up to the promise of this country that defined itself not by race not by common genealogy – but by the fact that we were all created equal. And that’s the source of our strength. It’s the foundation of our success and we turn our back on that to our peril." (6/21/19, Pod Save America)
- "Most of those asylum seeking migrants pose no threat or danger to the United States. We know from past history that when we connect them with case managers in a community, they have a ninety nine percent chance of meeting their court dates and their appointments with ICE. In other words, we do a better job of helping them to follow our laws when they have case managers in the community. And it costs us a tenth of what we pay to keep them in detention and in custody.... I want to make sure that they follow our laws and go back to the country from which they- they left in the first place. I think we've got to ask ourselves, during an administration that has caged children, that has deported their moms back to the very countries from which they've fled, that have continued this separation that is visiting a cruelty and a torture on these families, that has lost the lives of six children within our custody- whether or not we can do better and live our values, and whether or not there will be a reckoning and accountability for this." (5/26/2019, CBS)
“We would not turn back Valeria and her father Oscar. We would accept them into this country and follow our own asylum laws. We would not build walls. We would not put kids in cages. In fact, we would spare no expense to reunite And we would not criminally prosecute any family who was fleeing violence and persecution. we would not attain any family fleeing violence. In fact, fleeing the deadliest countries on the face of the planet today. We would implement a family case management program so they could be cared for in the community at a fraction of the cost and then we would rewrite our immigration laws in our own image. Free dreamers forever from in the fear of deportation by making them U.S. citizens here in this country. Invest in solutions in Central America, work with regional stakeholders so there is no reason to make that two thousand mile journey to this country.” (6/26/19, The New York Times)
- “Let's rewrite our immigration laws in our own image. Let's reflect our values, our reality, the best interests and traditions of this country that is comprised of immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees from the world over. Here's our plan: https://betoorourke.com/immigration/" (7/14/19, Twitter)
NO BAN Act
- "We're a bold, confident, big-hearted people. Above the small, petty scare tactics. Don't need to ban individuals of one religion from the shores of a country comprised of immigrants the world over. Don't need to call for patrolling Muslim neighborhoods." (4/25/2018, Twitter)
"I know that Israel attempts to meet international standards of human rights. I know that they could do a better job. And that’s not just my opinion, that’s from listening to people in Israel say that about their own country. I think that we have a role to play to ensure the safety, the human rights, and the dignity of the people of Israel, as well as the people of what will become the state for the Palestinians, right now the Palestinian Authority. We cannot compel or force a two-state solution, but it should be our diplomatic goal. Every resource we invest, every diplomatic effort, should be towards that end. That’s the best way in the long term to guarantee the peace, the stability, and the human rights of all people in that region." (6/20/2019, The New York Times)
Tommy Vietor: Sticking with the region you’ve talked about Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. You mentioned – I think the quote was – he openly sided with racists. If he follows through on his campaign pledge to Annex the West Bank do you think we should cut assistance to Israel? And given some of the racist things he’s done and said, do you think he’s committed to a peace agreement?
O'ROURKE: It is in our national security interests. It is in the interests of the people of Israel and the Palestinian Authority for there to be a two-state solution. Annexing the West Bank would spike any opportunity to achieve that which would promote greater instability and violence in the region. It would make Israel less safe – make it less likely that you would ever achieve full human rights and dignity for the Palestinians. So it’s got to be our priority and it would be [00:35:00] my goal as President to make sure that we achieve a two-state solution to provide encouragement to facilitate where we can, to do so with the humility of understanding that we cannot impose this solution, but it’s going to be tough because in addition to prime minister Netanyahu and his threat to annex the West Bank – his warning that Arabs are coming to the polls in a previous election – his siding with with openly racist parties and the Palestinian Authority with a Hamas – you don’t have a full partner for peace either. You don’t have somebody who can quell the incitement or control the violence or who can demonstrate a willingness to make the necessary concessions to get to that desired goal. So I say this knowing that it’s going to be extraordinarily difficult given the two leaders that we have in the region, but also making that commitment and – I would be hesitant to describe you [00:36:00] know a punishment or negotiate in public with the prime minister right now – only to say that this will be the priority of the United States and that we will work – even if it is prime minister Netanyahu and our Administration. We will work with anyone to make sure that we secure peace and a two-state solution.(5/26/2019, CBS)
- "In part because we know that the cost and consequence of invasion and military action will be measured in lives lost or fellow Americans who will be sacrificed – lives taken in the name [00:32:00] of this country and an understanding that rarely has military intervention produced the results that we’re looking for. The CIA led coup in Iran in 1953 of the democratically elected Mossadegh, in part produced the revolution that we saw in 1979 and the impasse that we face today in 2019. We were talking about Central America earlier, the next year in 1954 again CIA led coup in Guatemala – deposing Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán – leading to instability that has persisted to this very day. President Trump has made it very hard for us though to do this and to do it the right way not just through the saber rattling and the threatening of War but by exiting the joint comprehensive plan of action, which is one of the greatest foreign policy feats of the United States in the modern era – certainly of the Obama Administration – the fact that we could bring the permanent members of the UN Security Council – Germany and Iran – all to the table and be able to stop them from pursuing nuclear weapons and begin the process of addressing other tough challenges that are on poses – the funding of terrorism in the Middle East their development of ballistic missiles their support of the Houthis in Yemen and instability that Civil War that we see in that region – I felt like that was a great start towards addressing those other issues. Now we have no one with whom to meet at the table. Iran’s not going to trust us again. Europeans don’t know how to handle a It breaks its word and its commitments and that has made us less – not more secure – less – not more safe. And as really made war a more likely outcome and option – as we are seeing play out right now. So yes, let’s hold Iran accountable. Let’s do this through partners and allies and friends – we’re much more likely to be successful and achieve our aims." (6/21/19, Pod Save America)
MARGARET BRENNAN: "So do you doubt the U.S. intelligence that said there was a threat on the ground to U.S. forces in Iraq?"
O'ROURKE: " I- I have a really hard time believing this administration and believing a- a president who has so wantonly lied and misconstrued the facts at every single turn to his own gain. I'm- I'm suspicious of a national security team that has so often called for war. You have someone in- in-- Bolton, who has publicly said that he wants regime change in Iran. The body count in- in that kind of war on- on both sides will not be measured in the hundreds or the thousands but the tens or hundreds of thousands. If there is a peaceful alternative to this- and I know that there is- then we must do everything within our power to pursue it. And that's what I would do in my administration. I'd stick up for our values, make sure that we defend our allies, protect the lives of our fellow Americans. But do that peacefully where we can. Otherwise, we will produce more wars, more veterans coming back to this country seeking the care that they are being effectively and functionally denied today. I think we need to do far better going forward, and I know that we can." (5/26/2019, CBS)
U.S. Presence in the Arab World
MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you think President Trump was right to send these fifteen hundred troops to the Middle East to counter the Iran threat?
O'ROURKE: No. President Trump is escalating tensions, is provoking yet another war in the Middle East where we find ourselves already engaged in war in so many countries - in Iraq in Syria in Yemen, not too far from there in Libya and in Afghanistan. So, we don't need another war. We need to find a way to work with allies and partners and in some cases with our enemies. (5/26/2019, CBS)
On if he will withdraw from Afghanistan
“I would in my first term in office. Agree that there is nothing about perpetuating this war, already in its 18th year, that will make it any better. We've satisfied the reasons for our involvement in Afghanistan in the first place. And it's time to bring those service members back home from Afghanistan, but also from Iraq, also from Yemen, and Somalia, and Libya, and Syria. There is no reason for us to be at war all over the world tonight. As president, I will end those wars, and we will not start new wars. We will not send more U.S. service members overseas to sacrifice their lives and to take the lives of others in our name. We can resolve these challenges peacefully and diplomatically.” (7/30/2019 Democratic Debate, transcript, NBC)
Tommy Vietor: There was a pretty depressing coater to the Arab Spring protests in Egypt this week when Mohamed Morsi – who is Egypts first democratically elected President – died in prison of what appears to be neglect. But at the same time we’re seeing these mass protest movements in Algeria, Sudan, Hong Kong. It does feel like there’s sort of an Arab Spring 2.0 going on – or maybe it never ended. What did you take away from watching that first round of protest movements that started in 2001? And how do you think the US should respond to, or support efforts to, beat back authoritarianism?
Beto O’Rourke: "We’ve always – or not always – well, maybe always, struggled with short-term security interests, you know fighting communism or fighting International terrorism today and compromising our values for democracy and Independence and freedom in order to achieve those those short-term security gains and here we are faced with that again only in this case it doesn’t seem like there’s a struggle on the part of the administration. They have openly sided with dictators in autocrats. You know Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia was able to kill an American journalist or journalist based in America Khashoggi with absolute impunity. With President Trump, you know, maybe this kind of stuff was said behind doors in the past, openly saying yeah, but this guy buys billions of dollars in Weapons Systems from United States defense contractor. So I’m willing to turn a [00:38:00] blind eye to that and the fact that he’s bombing Yemen into the last century and precipitating the greatest humanitarian crisis, perhaps that we’ve seen since World War Two and that we are effectively a co-combatant. It is Duterte in the Philippines. It’s El-Sisi in Egypt where Morsi was just just died in court. It’s Erdogan in Turkey – and then to our allies, the great democracies – we turn the back or give the middle finger – that is going to make us, is already is making us, demonstrably less safe, if we’re going to be able to end these wars that we’re in, if we’re going to be able to confront climate change, if we’re going to be able to stop nuclear proliferation, we’re going to need partners and allies. And if we’re going to answer the big open question that the world has right now: is the future authoritarian or is the future Democratic? We’re going to have to lead by example around the world and then here at home." (5/26/2019, CBS)