I’ll bet Beto O’Rourke’s new campaign staff members are wondering what they’ve gotten themselves into.
NBC News reporter Ben Pu shared a video of O’Rourke and his
staff on Saturday holding an impromptu pushup competition at an airport gate in
Sioux City, Iowa, as O’Rourke and his team waited for a delayed flight.
Very healthy. But also very
sweaty and smelly.
What’s not healthy for O’Rourke’s still fledgling campaign is being criticized by another Democratic candidate whose 2020 campaign is struggling even more, over O’Rourke’s opposition to Medicare for All.
De Blasio and O’Rourke went after each other over the issue on
“If someone proposed a ‘radical’ idea called public
education today, Beto would try to warn us that 180 million Americans would be
kicked out of their schools,” de Blasio tweeted.
That was a response to O’Rourke outlining his thoughts on
healthcare policy, which included the argument that Medicare for All “would
force 180 million Americans off their insurance.”
As Politico notes, O’Rourke’s plan would maintain
employment-based insurance while giving people the option to switch to a new
“So, we get to universal guaranteed care while still
preserving choice, and we avoid the false choice between the status quo, what
we have today, the Affordable Care Act, and something that would force tens of
millions of Americans off of private insurance and towards Medicare,” O’Rourke
said of his plan.
This is an interesting stance, given that just two years ago, O’Rourke wrote that, “We need a single-payer healthcare system for all Americans.”
O’Rourke responded to de Blasio’s tweet with another tweet,
saying, “Just like every parent can
send their kid to a public school, under our plan, every American who wants to
enroll in Medicare can do so. It’s the best way to guarantee high-quality
health care for every single American.”
De Blasio countered
that “the best way to guarantee high-quality care is to make sure wealthy and
poor people, healthy and sick people all get the same care. To allow corporate
interests to stay at the table will do the opposite.”
He added, “If
wealthy and healthy people opt out, a public plan suffers. Working families
O’Rourke and de Blasio will both be participating in the upcoming July 30-31 Democratic debates in Detroit, although they are scheduled for separate nights.
O’Rourke will have to do much better than he did in the last
debate, when he
looked woefully unprepared. He’ll be facing both Sens. Elizabeth Warren and
Bernie Sanders, among others. According to NBC News, O’Rourke has spent
more time preparing for the upcoming debate than he did last time. That’s a relief.
Still, it must really suck when Bill de
Blasio is trying to pick you off.