On the second day of his campaign, Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke made a stop in Washington Friday.
Speaking to a packed house at Art Domestique, O’Rourke touched on several issues from immigration and climate change to healthcare during his 40-minute stop.
“Let’s legalize the Dreamers and make them U.S. citizens so they can contribute to their full potential,” O’Rourke said regarding immigration reform. “Not only is it to their benefit, it is to our benefit as well. I’m not talking about an eventual 10-year, 20-year path to citizenship. They are already functionally, in every way that matters, Americans.”
On climate change, O’Rourke cited the record rain and storms that have hit his home state of Texas in recent years as evidence that climate change is a real threat.
“There is a consensus among scientists – and I, for one, still believe in science – climate change is very real and caused by humankind,” he said.
He touted gains in renewable energy, pointing out that Iowa is one of the leaders in that field.
O’Rourke also pointed out that the United States is not the only contributor to the problem, but that it is this country’s responsibility to take a leadership role in finding a solution.
“We’ve got to reassert global leadership, which we have squandered with this administration,” he said. “We have the power to bring countries together.”
Regarding healthcare, O’Rourke said that he supports a proposal that would make Medicare available as an option to all Americans, while still allowing people to keep their private health insurance if they prefer.
He said that the purpose of his campaign is to unite people.
“Every single person in this country is important to me, regardless of your party affiliation, your geography, your race, or your gender or your sexual orientation,” he said. “All that matters right now are not our differences that could potentially divide us at this defining moment of truth, but what we hold in common. We are Americans before anything else.”