When Robert “Beto” O’Rourke launched his Democratic presidential bid in March, he said something that rubbed a lot of people on his side of the aisle the wrong way.
“I’m just born to do this,” he told Vanity Fair in a cover story teased by a giant front photo of himself.
O’Rourke then rubbed people the wrong way again with his response to people criticizing him for giving so little money to charity.
The candidate from El Paso, Texas released his tax returns on Tuesday, revealing that he had underpaid $4,000. He said he’s correcting that problem, but something else many people noticed bothered them more.
Beto and his wife made over $370K in 2017, yet they only gave one-third of one percent to charity, James Hohmann of the Washington Post pointed out. That’s not very much for someone who wants to force taxpayers to give a lot of their hard-earned money to fund government handouts.
That revelation prompted many people on social media to call him a hypocrite and a cheapskate.
And the fire didn’t just come from people online. O’Rourke was confronted about his stinginess during at town hall event on Tuesday, Fox News reported.
A student at the town hall pointed out that her sister made much less money than the O’Rourkes yet donated more to charity than he did. The crowd applauded the student’s question.
O’Rourke gave a drawn-out answer in reply but essentially said that he hadn’t reported all of his charitable donations. He didn’t say he had made many, though.
But he also pointed out to the audience that he’s given America something more valuable than money...himself.
“I’ve served in public office since 2005,” he said. “I do my best to contribute to the success of my community, of my state, and now, of my country. There are ways that I do this that are measurable and there are ways that I do this that are immeasurable.
And he suggested that his presence on the campaign trail, speaking to the people in the town hall that night, was an act of charity to them.
“I’m doing everything that I can right now, spending this time with you — not with our kiddos, not back home in El Paso — because I want to sacrifice everything to make sure that we meet this moment of truth with everything that we’ve got,” he concluded.