Beto O'Rourke, the former congressman and failed Senate candidate who abandoned a promising career as a whimsical travel blogger to run for president, occasionally sprinkles his stump speech with jokes to lighten the mood.
According to the Associated Press, the candidate's attempt at comedy fell flat during a recent visit to an 8th grade civics class in Newton, Iowa. The students, who fortunately can't vote, wanted to discuss serious issues such as climate change and gun violence, but O'Rourke wanted to use to his platform to fling some zingers at the somber teens. The routine bombed.
O’Rourke’s normally reliable joke about his Republican mother voting for him fell flat, though. He said afterward: "It’s, yeah, maybe a little bit of a different audience."
Beto's quip about his Republican mother, Melissa, "crossing party lines" to vote for him in the Texas Senate race, which he lost to incumbent Ted Cruz, is a staple of his campaign stump speeches. She donated to Cruz and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012, but has also given money to Barack Obama, and has voted in Democratic primary elections since the year 2000.