O’Rourke Notes Media ‘Disconnect’ on Issues in Campaign Coverage

O’Rourke Notes Media ‘Disconnect’ on Issues in Campaign Coverage


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke would like the news media to focus more on the issues and less on what he calls the “horse race” and “Twitter” stories.

“But we’ll have incredibly powerful town hall meeting, 10 or 12 amazing questions, people sharing their own stories, their testimonials that help us to understand some of the challenges we face on affordability of prescription medication or this crisis in opioid overdose and abuse and death. And then, afterwards, there will be members of the media who are there, especially the national media, who will ask me a horse-race question or some kind of sensational dynamic going on that does not connect to the lives of the people that we all just had a chance to listen to and to meet,” the former Democratic congressman said in an on-air interview after MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace asked him to play media critic. “So this is kind of like the question you asked about the disconnect between Twitter and what we see in these town halls. I think more engagement on those fundamental issues.”

O’Rourke jumped into the presidential race in March, largely on the strength of his 2018 campaign for US Senate in Texas, where he nearly ousted incumbent Sen Ted Cruz.

The ranks of Democrats seeking the presidential nomination have since swelled to nearly two dozen. After his strong launch, O’Rourke has fallen to the middle of the pack in most recent polling.

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