Beto O’Rourke welcomes Trump to Texas, talks DUI with Ellen

Posted at 8:16 AM, Sep 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-05 10:01:20-04

El Paso Congressman and Texas senate hopeful Beto O’Rourke will appear on the Ellen DeGeneres Show today.

Ellen sent O’Rourke a public invitation on Twitter after seeing his viral response to NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.

A few days later, Ellen posted to Twitter that she would see O’Rourke on Sept. 5.

While speaking with Ellen, O’Rourke addressed President Trump’s tweets about campaigning for Ted Cruz.

“First of all, we welcome the president to Texas and we are glad that he’s coming. Texas is the most diverse state in the country. It’s the defining immigrant story and experience. We should, Republicans and Democrats together, be able to lead the way,” O’Rourke said. “Not only to stop taking kids from parents, not only to free dreamers from the fear of deportation and make them U.S. citizens on that same day, but to lead in a bold, ambitious way that makes the most out of all of us including those that choose to be here.”

Beto on Ellen
Photo Credit: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

O’Rourke also addressed his DUI arrest from 1998.

“Yeah, twenty years ago I drove drunk… a terrible mistake. There’s no explanation or justifying that. Since then, I have gone on with friends to start a business, with Amy to raise a family, serving my community in the United States congress. And, in many ways, that mistake did not define me. I was able to go on and do these things. But I know to some degree, that’s a function of the fact that I’m a white man in this country. I know that if I were African American, if I had been arrested with marijuana, it might be very hard for me to then get a job. I’d have to check a box on an application form; I couldn’t finance my student loans. That might very well narrow my choices and options in life. As it does for so many in a country that has the largest prison population on the face of the planet. One that is disproportionately brown and black. I want to make sure that everyone has a second chance. That’s a lesson that I take in this and something I want to use as motivation to make things better for others who may have made mistakes in their lives.”

-Beto O’Rourke on Ellen

DeGeneres also addresses the viral video that put O’Rourke in the national spotlight.

In the viral video which gained her attention, O’Rourke said that “I can think of nothing more American than to peacefully stand up or take a knee for your rights, anytime, anywhere and anyplace.”

“I thought it was a brilliant answer,” DeGeneres told O’Rourke. “I thought everything that you said was amazing. But then I also heard that a lot of people were very angry about it.”

Ted Cruz, whom O’Rourke is trying to unseat, is one of the people who have different views on NFL players kneeling in protest.

Cruz responded to the viral video while at a campaign stop in Corpus Christi. While speaking of being on a military base the week before, Cruz said “when Beto O’Rourke says he can’t think of anything more American, I gotta admit, I can. Those soldiers, those sailors, those airmen, those marines who fought to protect the flag.”

Cruz also vowed to keep Texas “very bright red” at the campaign stop.

You can catch Ellen’s full interview with Beto O’Rourke on KRIS 6 at 4 p.m. today