Democratic Texas Senate hopeful Beto O’Rourke got an unexpectedly tough question while at a CNN town hall event on Thursday night.
A student asked Beto about his name and how he is connected to the Hispanic community. Student Khalid Aboujamous asked, “Congressman, throughout the campaign, you have been attacked for being what Donald Trump Jr. has called ‘an Irish guy pretending to be Hispanic. So what does the Hispanic community mean to you and what relationships do you have with that community?”
"I was born Robert Francis O'Rourke … From day one, in El Paso … If you are born Robert … your community calls you 'Beto' that's my nickname that I've gone by for my entire life," O'Rourke explains, "This is part of who I am and where I'm from" #TexasTownHall pic.twitter.com/HMWS2ELPHZ
— OutFrontCNN (@OutFrontCNN) October 18, 2018
O’Rourke responded: “You know this in McAllen [Texas] — if you are born Robert, or Albert, or Gilbert, or Umberto — your folks, your friends, your community calls you Beto.”
“Born and raised in fourth generation in El Paso in a community that is more than 80-percent Mexican-American,” O’Rourke continued. “This is part of who I am. It’s where I’m from.”
Previously O’Rourke addressed the nickname by posting a childhood photo of himself wearing a “Beto” sweater.
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) March 7, 2018
The Texas Senate candidate finished things up by saying he is “fiercely proud” of his Hispanic American community heritage.