PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Beto O'Rourke aims to put Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in contention, saying that Republican President Trump's loyal ally "openly sided with racists".
The Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas congressman – in the New Hampshire election campaign – also criticized the negotiators who were apparently trying to end the multi-generational Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
BETO O 'ROURKE PREDICTS WHICH HE CAN WIN TEXAS AT GENERAL ELECTIONS
"Right now, we do not have the best trading partners on both sides. We have a prime minister in Israel who has openly sided with racists, "he said.
O'Rourke has criticized the long-time Israeli conservative leader, who is facing a corruption scandal at home, but his comments have been among the sharpest in his description of Netanyahu. O'Rourke also attacked Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
"On the Palestinian side, we have an inefficient leader. Mahmoud Abbas has not been very effective in bringing his team to the table, "he lamented.
O'Rourke – who almost lost his candidacy for 2018 to Senator GOP Ted Cruz – addressed the issue Tuesday night at Keene State College. This stop was his first shot of sending a 48-hour run to the ten counties of New Hampshire, the state that is organizing the first primary race in the White House.
O BETO O ROURKE IS LOCATED IN THE LATEST DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY POLLINES OF 2020
During a question-and-answer session with the public, the candidate was questioned about accepting significant sums as contributions from pro-Israel lobbyists when he was elected to the Senate in 2018 in Texas.
"If you ask if the contributions I accept are related to the strategies I support, the answer is no," he replied.
O'Rourke again called for a "two-state solution" between Israel and the Palestinians to achieve peace in the Middle East. "I believe in peace and dignity and with full respect for the rights of the Palestinian people and the people of Israel. The only way to achieve this … is a two-state solution, "he said.
During Wednesday's stopovers in New Hampshire, meanwhile, O 'Rourke targeted the sale of assault weapons, sketched out his position on late abortions, called the pre-K to leaving for four year olds and acknowledged that he had a learning curve while he was running for president.
Asked at a protest at Plymouth State University about his stance on assault weapons, Mr. O. Rourke reiterated his belief that such firearms should only be used when they are in danger. for military purposes.
He promised that "if you have something like an AR-15 and I'm your president, keep it. Continue to use it responsibly. I do not want to take up arms of anyone in the country. "
But he said that the AR-15, "which is a variant of something that was designed for use on the battlefield, I see no reason for it to be sold to our communities."
THE STANCE OF BETO O 'ROURKE ON THE LATE ABORTIONS
Fox News asked O 'Rourke how he would have voted on a controversial bill sponsored by the GOP that would require doctors to provide medical care to newborns, including those born from failed abortions. Most Democratic senators criticized the bill – which did not reach the 60-vote threshold – as politically charged.
"I would have listened to the women I wanted to represent in the state of Texas. I would have listened to doctors and medical providers. I would have examined the facts and understood the truth. And then I would have voted with these women to make their own decisions about their own bodies, "said O'Rourke. But he did not say how he would have voted on the bill, which has become a political lightning rod.
The answer was similar to how O'Rourke has answered questions about abortion since launching his presidential campaign last week. The candidate hinted his support for abortion rights by adding, "I have seen the effects of regressive policies on women's health in Texas, the inability to obtain Essential medical care … I want to make sure that at the national level do not make these mistakes. "
As a three-term member of Congress representing El Paso in the House, O'Rourke supported a bill in 2017 that would have lifted most of the state's abortion restrictions, including time limits. wait.
Abortion has become an urgent issue in the race for the Democratic nomination for the presidency, with the party fearing that the new conservative majority in the Supreme Court will abolish the abortion rights that have existed for years. generations, while conservatives have accused major Democrats of indifference to infanticide.
O'Rourke also repeated his efforts in favor of universal pre-kindergarten, from age four.
He said he would have partially taken over the program by asking "the richest to pay a larger share of their wealth."
And he explained that "this will cause us to spend more money initially, but we will see a much more economical return of taxes paid on the road by people who earn much more than they would have." other".
O'Rourke had a record $ 80 million in last year's Senate campaign. He set a new record during his run at the White House, earning $ 6.1 million in his first 24 hours as a candidate, a record among the Democratic presidential candidates of 2020. Wednesday, he announced that the contributions came from 128,000 people, the average donation rising to 48 dollars.
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who raised $ 5.9 million the day after the announcement of his candidacy last month, received contributions from 223,000 people, with average donations rising to $ 27.
While O'Rourke's campaign money made the headlines, a series of missteps immediately followed.
Last weekend, O'Rourke apologized for joking at several events, Thursday and Friday, that his wife Amy had raised the three children of the couple "sometimes with my help".
Discussing the comments – which according to critics highlighted unwelcome sexist stereotypes – O'Rourke promised "not only will I not repeat it, but I will be more reflective in the future in the way I talk about our marriage" .
On Wednesday, O'Rourke told the crowd, "Amy and I are raising these kids."
When asked if there was a learning curve during the presidential campaign, he quickly replied, "Yes. Oh yes. I'm smart enough to know that I still have a lot to learn. The only way for me to learn this is to manifest in the communities I seek to serve and to hear things from people's point of view. "
Fox News' Gregg Re contributed to this report.