The Club for Growth, a conservative political interest group, known for typically being critical of former president Barack Obama is showing a chameleonic strategy, one that now finds it using a new two-minute ad praising Obama and slamming Rep. Beto O’Rourke as he decides on a run for the White House in 2020, according to Politico.
In the ad, titled “Pedigree,” the group comes hard for Beto, saying in part:
“…While both earned undergrad degrees at Columbia, they blazed different paths. Obama championed progressive causes on campus, seeking to combat inequality and harmful stereotypes. Beto perpetuated them, casting aspersions on working women whose “only qualifications seem to be large breasts and tight buttocks.”
It was actually a reference to a theater review O’Rourke wrote when he was a 19-year-old student at Columbia University about Broadway performers in a musical. When it was brought up during his failed Senate campaign last year, he apologized for it.
The ad also praises the former president for “breaking barriers” as the first Black editor of the Harvard Law Review, while reaching back to a DWI charge against O’Rourke which was eventually dropped “while people of color languish behind bars for far less.” It also spoke of O’Rourke’s father-in-law, which it characterized as a billionaire;
The Club for Growth was expected to begin running the ads this week in Iowa with the objective of lessening support among Democrats for the 46-year-old Texas congressman, who is often compared to Obama. The organization, which touts itself as “a network of 250,000 pro-growth, limited government Americans believes that O’Rourke is not deserving of the comparison.
Club for Growth president, David McIntosh, said the strategy is to stop O’Rourke before he becomes too politically popular in Texas for President Trump to gain ground.
“We watched what he did in Texas in the race against Cruz and realized his potential within the Democratic primary system is enormously larger than what people are giving him credit for right now. We realized, here is a real potential threat because if he is the nominee then Texas suddenly is in play,” McIntosh said, according to Politico. O’Rourke lost in a narrow defeat against incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz.
But the charges the ad makes are refutable.
According to Forbes magazine, William Sanders, O’Rourke’s father-in-law, is not a billionaire. Instead, he is reportedly worth around $500 million. Also, a bit distorted is the allegation that O’Rourke secured a development deal as El Paso councilman to help Sanders.
Forbes said O’Rourke abstained from voting on some measures but notably “didn’t object when the mayor of El Paso threatened property owners with having their properties seized under eminent domain and sold to a real-estate investment trust started by Sanders.”
Another accusation, that O’Rourke drove drunk and fled the scene of an accident, is partially true. O’Rourke has apologized for the 1998 drunk-driving arrest but claims he never left the scene.