O'Rourke: 'I Don't Know That Anybody Deserves to Have a Billion Dollars'

June 19, 2019

Former Texas congressman Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke suggested no one deserves to have a billion dollars during an interview with the New York Times.

"I don't know that anyone deserves to have a billion dollars," O'Rourke told the Times when asked if anyone deserves to have that much money.

It is unclear if O'Rourke thinks his father-in-law, who is estimated to be worth $500 million, deserves his money.

The Times also quoted Kirsten Gillibrand as saying "no one deserves to have a billion dollars," although she did not use those words in the video clip included in the piece.

Both O'Rourke and Gillibrand have struggled to gain momentum in the crowded Democratic primary field. O'Rourke averages less than 4 percent in national primary surveys, while Gillibrand averages a half percent.

The Texas Tribune reported last week that some El Paso residents are upset with O'Rourke for a decade-old vote in favor of a redevelopment plan that laid the groundwork for a historic migrant neighborhood to be leveled. O'Rourke's father-in-law, a real-estate mogul, supported the project. One resident said he is "always siding with millionaires and leaving us, the poor, stuck with the bill."

Yesterday, O'Rourke invoked the Holocaust to attack President Donald Trump, describing how the German transatlantic liner St. Louis with 900 Jewish refugees was turned away by former Democratic president Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He has also claimed the Trump administration is "gunning for war in Iran," despite evidence that the Iranians are responsible for a spate of recent attacks on civilian oil tankers.

Gillibrand, meanwhile, sparked controversy last week after she compared the pro-life viewpoint to racism and suggested it was "not acceptable." The comments prompted backlash from black anti-abortion activists, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s niece, Alveda King.