tv Road to the White House 2020 Beto O Rourke Kickoff Rally in El Paso Texas CSPAN March 30, 2019 11:00pm-11:40pm EDT
relevant today than ever. no government money supports c-span. its nonpartisan compling of washington is funded by your cable or satellite provider. n television and view of government so you can make up your own mind. >> former texas congressman beto o'rourke kicked off his presidential campaign at a rally in el paso. he announced on march 14 that he would be running for president. he just wrapped up an 11-day trip across multiple states.
here today, so grateful to this community of el paso. [cheers and applause] >> and i am very grateful to each one of few who made the trip to come here and join us and our hometown in this community. [applause] > we love you. >> it was really important for amy and me to launch this campaign from el paso. this is the city where i was born. [applause] city where melissa raised me, my e sisters, the same city where amy and i are raising our three kids. and perhaps most importantly, el paso to me represents el paso at
-- america at its very best. for more than 100 years, this community has welcomed generations of immigrants from across the rio grande, some having traveled hundreds of miles, some having traveled housands of miles. trying to escape from violence and crushing poverty to find a better life in this country for themselves and for their kids, that's for sure. but also because they were alled to contribute to our shared success and to country's greatness, and they have. [cheers and applause] el paso has been home to leaders in the struggles of civil rights nd workers rights. the mexican-americans who led
the chicano movement. [cheers and applause] the women in this town who organized the strike. [cheers and applause] and black el pasoans like selma wright, who not only secured voting rights in this state, but insured that el paso would be among the first places in the former confederacy and to esegregate and integrate our education. e form the largest bi national community in this hemisphere. and for 20 years running, we have been one of the safest cities in the united states of america. we are safe, not despite the fact we are a city of immigrants and asylum seekers. we are safe because we are a city of immigrants and asylum seekers. cheers and applause]
we have learned not to fear our differences, but to respect and embrace them. we see the languages spoken in this community, the traditions, the cultures as a strength for el paso. we understand, we understand that we are, in the words of dr. king, caught an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. cheers and applause] this community has offered me my inspiration in life and every single opportunity that i have had. from the world-class public school teachers at my elementary school who believed in me and sought to bring out the very best in me. to the small business community, who allowed me to work for them
as we were starting our own small business here in this community. and who joined that business, creating high skill, high wage, high-value jobs in this community with so much talent, but just looking for a way to express itself. and to those community leaders, border network for human rights, annunciation house, the women's march, you have shown me what leadership is. [cheers and applause] ou elected me in 2005 to serve this community on the city council, not as a democrat, not as a republican, but as an el pasoan. working with our fellow el pasoans to improve this community, turn around our mass transit system, to invest in neighborhoods and people, to protect our public spaces and to never shy away from the fights in front of us, like extending health care benefits to the same-sex partners of city
employees regardless of the consequences, regardless of the recall elections that would follow. and in 2012, we won a race against the odds and against the establishment to represent el paso in the united states congress. [cheers and applause] we ran by talking and listening to you about tough issues, like the veteran suicides that followed the fact that we had the longest wait times for mental health care in the country. we talked about a war on drugs that have become a war on people, and thanks to you, once in office, wreto deliver. we helped to turn around the v.a. in el paso, expand mental health care for veterans
nationally does [cheers and applause] expand our protected public spaces, improve our security and our connections with mexico in investing in our ports of entry. and having the backs of every single servicemember and their families stationed at fort bliss or deployed around the world. [applause] >> you helped me to find those republican colleagues that i can walk across the aisle or drive across the country to get the job done for el pasoans and the united states, and we did. [cheers and applause] and el paso, it was your story that i told all over texas, in every single one of these 254 counties. all people, no pacs, all the time. [cheers and applause] everyone counts, everyone matters, so we showed up everywhere to listen to everyone.
it didn't matter how red, how blue, or how urban. we showed up with the courage of our convictions and willingness to listen and learn from those we sought to serve in the senate. and although we did not win that race, although we came awfully close. [cheers and applause] we all got to be part of something absolutely transformational in our lives and in the democracy of this state. we were able to win votes from republicans and independents, expand the number of democrats who voted in an election in the state, this state, which before 2018 had ranked 50th in voter turnout. approaching election year evels.
this state sought young voter turnout up 500% over the last midterm election. [cheers and applause] this state and its 38 electoral votes count like they have never counted before, all of us have a seat at the table. all of us matter. the united states house of representatives, two new members of congress from texas, both emocrats, elected into what we were told to believe were safe republican seats. the composition of the state legislature has changed, and in houston, texas, 17 african-american women winning judicial positions. [cheers and applause] literally changing the face of criminal justice in this country's most diverse city. you did that. you did that.
[cheers and applause] your votes, your willingness to volunteer, the offices that you posted in your home, that is how we made this happen. and that is why i am so glad to be here with you today in my hometown, in my home state, to announce that i am running to serve you as the next president of the united states of america. cheers and applause] thank you. cheers and applause] this is a campaign for america. for everyone in america. like so many of you here, like so many more across the country,
at this defining moment, amy and i want you to know that we have done everything within our power for this country. and though we know it comes at some sacrifice to our family, especially to our kids, we also know that our children and that your children and the generations that follow them are depending on us. now, at this moment, this is our moment of truth. [cheers and applause] this is our moment of truth, and we cannot be found wanting. the challenges before us are the greatest of our lifetimes. an economy that works too well for too few, and not at all for too many more. a health care system where millions are unable to see a
doctor or be well enough to live to their full potential, and the last, best hope of averting the catastrophe that will follow additional climate change fading before our very inaction. [cheers and applause] we must overcome these challenges, but we must first ask ourselves how this, the wealthiest, the most powerful country on the face of the planet, the most powerful country that world history has ever known, has found itself in such a perilous position? for too long in this country, the powerful have maintained their privilege at the expense of the powerless. they have used fear and division in the same way that our current resident uses fear and based on the differences between us between race, ethnicity, geography, or religion to keep us apart, to make us angry, to
make us afraid of ourselves and of one another. [cheers and applause] unrestrained money and influence has warped the priorities of this country. it has corrupted our democracy. it has invited recidivism and istrust and disengagement of millions of our fellow americans who see their very own government in thrall to those who can pay for access and outcomes. this is the only check against this inertia of power. the only way to free our institutions of their capture and corruption, and the only means by which we can lift the lives of our fellow americans. cheers and applause]
but when the safeguards of this democracy are manipulated by those in power, when members of congress can choose their own voters, when the supreme court decides that corporations are people and money is speech, when pacs and special interests can buy the outcomes of elections, and would voting rights are not expanded, but fundamentally withdrawn, we run the risk of becoming a democracy in name only. and the idea that we are founded on the principle of we are all created equal to equal opportunity is seen as a lie to those who have experienced gro education, health care, economic advancement, or justice. [cheers and applause] so, whatever our differences, where you live, who do love, to
whom you pray, for whom you voted in the last election, let those differences not define us or divide us at this moment. et's agree -- going forward, before we are anything else, we are americans first. [cheers and applause] we are americans first and we will put the business of this country before us. so, if you believe in guaranteed, high quality universal health care. [cheers and applause] because you have seen the cost and the consequence of millions of our fellow americans who have no health care or do not have enough health care, then let us come together around a policy that begins by prioritizing affordability in prescription
medications, that make sure we bring down the cost of our premiums and deductibles in a country -- cheers and applause] and in this country, where too many of our fellow americans are dying of diabetes in the year 2019, dying of the flu, dying of curable cancers in a community, in a state, in a country where one of the largest providers of mental health care services is the county jail system, and in a nation that is in the midst of f a maternal mortality crisis, three times as deadly for women of color, then let us ensure all of us can see a primary care provider, all of us can get mental health care help. [cheers and applause] and that universal care means every woman makes her own
decisions about her own body. cheers and applause] we can give every american, every business in this country the choice to enroll in medicare without eliminating plans that many americans like for their families because those plans worked for their families. everyone able to see a doctor, everyone able to afford their prescription, everyone able to take their child to a therapist. no one left behind. no one priced out. we must get to universal, guaranteed, high-quality health are as soon as we can. if we believe in an economy that orks for all, i want to make sure that everyone has a chance to advance, so let's begin with
the very youngest among us and invest in a world-class public school system, pre-k through 12, everywhere in every community. [cheers and applause] and then let's do this -- let's pay our teachers what they are worth, a living wage. [cheers and applause] there is no reason that any educator, any teacher should be working two or three jobs when they have the most important job in front of them, unlocking that lifelong love of learning within everng once we do that, there is no stopping those kids. there is no stopping this country. and when they graduate from high school, let's make sure they are both college ready and career ready. ready to go on tohigher
education. debt-free [cheers and applause] and ready to go to a job that provides purpose and pays a real paycheck. [cheers and applause] speaking of that, let's also insist that we will not continue to diminish the power of unions. we will strengthen unions in this country. [cheers and applause] unions who insist that one job should be enough for every single american. unions who will help us to provide apprenticeships, not just for that young woman or man graduating from high school. the grandparent raising their kids, the worker whose job has been automated out of existence. apprenticeships will make sure we have the skills and trade to command a living salary for the rest of your life. so let's strengthen those unions going forward. [cheers and applause] and in rural america, we want to lift up rural america. let's begin by listening to rural america. let's partner with them in investing in hospitals, in
schools, in infrastructure like broadband internet, and let's ensure that every borrower, every rancher, every grower, every producer can make a profit as they grow what feeds, not just america, but so much of the rest of the world. [cheers and applause] and those farmers, like anyone else, want to make sure we are meeting the challenge of climate change before it is too late. let's open up technologies and markets to them to provide an incentive for capturing the carbon we are currently emitting in the air. i want to make sure that your gender, your race, your family does not prevent you from advancing in this economy, so let's do a few things. let's pay women equal to what men make in this country. [cheers and applause] let's sign into law paid family leave for every single family in
this country. let's ban workplace discrimination. [applause] and let's do this -- let's make ure there is access to capital for communities who have effectively been shut out of access to capital, home loans, and the ability to build wealth in this country for generations. [cheers and applause] and if we believe in justice for all in the face of the largest prison population per capita on this planet, one isproportionately comprised of people of color, then we must do the following -- not only end the federal prohibition on marijuana -- [applause] not only expunge the arrest records of everyone arrested for
possession of something that is legal in more than half the country -- cheers and applause] we must not only end cash bail and for-profit prisons in the united states of america -- cheers and applause] but we must also confront the legacy of certain communities who have been criminalized and kept down based on the color of their skin. confronting the legacy and the consequences of slavery and segregation and the continuing suppression of our fellow americans is the only way we will begin to repair the damage and keep ourselves from committing the same injustices. cheers and applause] and if we truly believe we are a country of immigrants and asylum seekers and refugees, the very
premise of our strength, success and, yes, our security, then let us free every single dreamer from any fear of deportation. [cheers] let's bring millions more out of the shadows and onto a path to contribute to their maximum potential to the success of this country. let's not only follow this country's asylum laws, but let's make sure we never take another child from another mother at the most desperate and vulnerable moment. [cheers and applause] let us reunite every single one of those families that are still separated today. cheers and applause] single one of us, including those who are just three or four blocks from here, detained under the international bridge that
connects us with mexico, behind chain-link fence and barbed wire, that they are our fellow human beings and deserve to be treated like our fellow human beings. [cheers] i can hear myself. i can't hear myself. chanting 'beto'] >> we will find security, not through walls, not through militarization. we will find security by focusing on our ports of entry that connect us to the rest of the world so we have an idea of who we want coming in here, and we facilitate the trade and travel connected to millions of jobs around the country. we will support our officers and border patrol agents. we will treat every single american with the dignity and respect they are owed as americans and as human beings. and if we are really serious about security, we have a golden opportunity.
republicans, independents, democrats alike to work on comprehensive immigration reform, to rewrite this country's immigration laws in our own image with our own values and in the best traditions of the united states of america. [cheers and applause] >> [chanting 'beto'] >> for all of the veterans here in el paso, a community that has distinguished itself in service to country going back to marcelino serno in world war i. an undocumented immigrant who went over f u.s. army and came back the most hily the state of texas. [cheers and applause] to the brothers in vietnam, to every man and woman who has their life on the line for this country, if we truly appreciate your service, not only will we make sure that we make the
investments in the v.a. to care for you when you return from having borne the battle, especially for those conditions connected to service in combat, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, military sexual trauma, we will ensure that is a roof over the head of every single veteran who is sleeping on the streets tonight. [cheers and applause] and then if we really mean it, if we really mean it, we will ensure this country does not start another war before every peaceful diplomatic nonviolent alternative is explored and pursued. [cheers and applause] and those wars that we ask our fellow americans, the service members to fight on our behalf 17 years and counting in afghanistan, 27 years in iraq,
let's bring these wars to a close and bring these service numbers back home to their families, to their communities, and to their country. cheers and applause] if after 300 years, after the enlightenment, we can still listen to and believe in the scientists and i for one do, who tell us that thanks to our own emissions, this planet has warmed one-degree celsius just since 1980 and the fires and the droughts and the floods and man made natural disaster also only get worse. if this planet warms another-degree celsius. this is our moment. to do everything in our power to free this economy from its enceon fossil fuels and
gas house emissions. to ensure that everyone has the chance to benefit from this new economy, especially those communities, lower communities that have born the brunt of climate change so far. this country has shown that we can do it. when the western world faced the existential threat of nazi germany more than 80 years ago, this country harnessed the political will of hundreds of millions here of the western temperature sis here not only to win that war for the following 80 years to make this world safe for democracy and to lift millions in this country into the middle class. this is our opportunity now to do something for a far greater existential threat, to do more for today and the people of the future, our kids, grandkids and
every generation that succeeds to once again,ve reassert our role on the world stage in order to do this. we have to strengthen these historic friendships and alliances. so many of them forged in sacrifice, the service of men and women who put their lives on the line and lost their lives to this country. let us make sure that sacrifice was not squandered. let us make sure we strengthen those alliances. let's end these love affairs with dictators and strongmen all over the world. [cheers] mr. o'rourke: let's earn the respect of the people around the world, not just by how we treat those in other countries, but how we treat those within our country.
[cheers] mr. o'rourke: and how we treat those at the border of our country. [cheers] mr. o'rourke: if we do that, we can make sure we once again become the indispensable nation, convening the other nations around some of our shared challenges. like climate change, nuclear disarmament, like ending these wars we are currently engaged in. we can do for ourselves what no other country can, and we have an opportunity at this moment to reprioritize this hemisphere, those countries and people who are literally connected to us by land. we can try and solve the problems of central america here at our front door at the texas-mexico border. we can invest in the opportunity to help people in central america where they are at home. it is our choice. [cheers] mr. o'rourke: but to do any of this, we have got to understand that our country's success
depends on the success of this democracy. it is the single greatest mechanism that humankind has ever devised to call forth the power, the potential and the genius of a people around their challenges and opportunities. so, every single citizen must be able to vote and every vote must count. [cheers] mr. o'rourke: as president, i will sign into law a new voting rights act. together, we will end gerrymandering. [cheers] mr. o'rourke: we will get big money out of politics. [cheers] mr. o'rourke: and all across this country, we will have automatic and same-day voter registration. that is what we must do. [cheers] mr. o'rourke: a bold political democracy is only possible if we vigorously pursue a true
economic democracy. every child, every man, every woman in this country must be able to see a future for themselves in this country. otherwise, this country will have no future as a democracy. that means this extraordinary concentration of wealth and power and privilege must be broken apart and opportunity must be shared with all. [cheers] mr. o'rourke: [speaking spanish] [cheers] mr. o'rourke: [speaking [cheers] mr. o'rourke: [speaking spanish] [cheers] mr. o'rourke: [speaking spanish] [cheers] [chanting]
mr. o'rourke: [speaking spanish] [cheers] [chanting] mr. o'rourke: [speaking spanish] [cheers] [chanting] mr. o'rourke: we will not allow ourselves to be defined by our fears or differences. instead, we shall be known for ever after by our ambitions, our aspirations, the resolve, the creativity, the service and sacrifice we brought to bear in
order to achieve them. our ability to campaign in this way with people, not corporations or pacs, the people who come together to ensure that we win the nomination, to ensure e defeat donald trump. [cheers] mr. o'rourke: but people in every state and every territory, from every walk of lif people is what is necessary toio president of the united states of america. [cheers] run, to serve you as the next mr. o'rourke: i am so grateful for every one of you who has joined or will join this campaign and sacrifice some part of your life towards success of this great country. together, we can make sure that america fulfills its promise for
ourselves, for each other, and for every generation that succeeds us. thank you, el paso. thank you, everyone. god bless you and god bless america. thank you. [cheers] [note] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019]
♪ >> former congressman better o'rourke is also holding events in houston and austin. there are more than 1000 watch parties being held for these events. the el paso county republican party hoisted a counter rally just a block from the kickoff. the campaign event in el paso, along with announcements and events from other presidential hopefuls are available at c-span.org. you can listen to the events on ur free radio app.
sunday night on afterwords, former trump advisor details his role in the 20 16th rble campaign. how i got caught in the cross harris of the plot to bring down president trump. >> i was actively trying to leverage what i thought were these men's connections to russia because i believed informs the interest to have campaign for candidate trump to meet with vladimir putin. >> you believed it was a foreign policy objective ? >> by the time i had joined the campaign, donald trump has talked about the need to work with russia at a political level, to combat isis.
♪ the v span bus is stopping at the schools of our student cam winners to award the second prize high school east to gab and greenly, darius arby darius adamson. >> when we saw the topic, what it means to be an american, we immediately thought about the constitution, and the bill of rights. especially freedom of speech. that is something that is so ingrained in the american identity. in term turnovers press and our increasingly divide political climate, how could we not approach this subject and apply it to what does it mean to be an american? 21 entrants in april.