Continetti: Beto Got Nowhere Campaigning on Cultural Issues

November 2, 2019

Washington Free Beacon founding editor Matthew Continetti on Friday said failed 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s cultural platform did not attract Democrats. 

"Beto, with the strong claims on guns and same-sex marriage, wasn't able to get traction with his own party," Continetti said on MSNBC's Meet the Press Daily.

He pointed out that the progressive Democratic candidates leading in the race are the ones campaigning on economic issues rather than cultural ones. 

"When you look at the other candidates in that progressive part of the party who are leading, they're the ones who focus on economic issues," he said, naming Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.). "They're the ones who have a large part of the party behind them right now."

O’Rourke campaigned on a controversial gun buy-back plan and proposed revoking the tax-exempt status of religious institutions that would not support same-sex marriage. 

Anchor Chuck Todd said conservatives might wish O'Rourke were staying in the spotlight, given how much ammunition he's provided them with his extreme positions.

"I have a feeling there are some folks in the conservative movement who don't want to see Beto O'Rourke go away too quickly," Todd said. "Because there are two things he brought into the debate that freaked out Democrats... One was the ‘you're darn right we're going to take your guns.’ And the other was getting rid of the tax exemption for churches, which wouldn't please some churches on the left-hand side."

Continetti said he expects O'Rourke's far-left rhetoric to continue to be a factor.

"The good news for Republicans is that's all on video," Continetti said. "The video isn't going anywhere. I'd say what's striking is Beto swung for the fences on the cultural issues."