Beto O’Rourke’s viral campaign moments and most passionate outbursts

Beto O’Rourke is no stranger to going viral on the campaign trail, a fact that has made him one of the most recognizable faces in politics today.

The 50-year-old served three terms in the House of Representatives before narrowly losing in a high-profile 2018 Senate race against Sen. Ted Cruz. Despite the loss, his popularity across the country soared, leading him to launch a short-lived presidential bid in 2020. Now, O’Rourke is running for governor of Texas, challenging Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. .

Here are some of O’Rourke’s most memorable outbursts and viral moments during his time in the public eye, starting with his most recent and going all the way back to the day he entered the national conversation.

O’Rourke visits ‘Harry’s House’

O’Rourke addresses heckler during town hall: ‘It might be fun for you’

Months after the deadly May 2022 shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 children and two teachers, O’Rourke didn’t hesitate to respond when an intruder apparently mocked his town hall speech over gun laws. more stringent in Texas.

The incident occurred in Mineral Wells, Texas, amid criticism of how Governor Abbott handled the aftermath of Uvalde. After describing the mass murder in chilling detail, laughter is heard from the audience. “It might be fun for you, motherfucker, but it ain’t fun for me.O’Rourke told the reviewer.

80 minute town hall video was shared on O’Rourke’s social media accounts, a clip of his rebuttal later went viral on the web. The crowd in the room seemed to support O’Rourke as well, bursting into applause and giving him a standing ovation.

O’Rourke interrupts Governor Greg Abbott’s press conference following the shooting at Robb Elementary School

O’Rourke hosts ‘The Rally Against Fear’ in response to Donald Trump

Weeks before O’Rourke dropped out of the 2020 presidential campaign, he organized a “Rally Against Fear,” a counter rally held by then-President Donald Trump just 15 miles away, according to the Dallas Morning News.

O’Rourke said, “We know that in those communities that have hosted a Donald Trump rally, we have seen an increase in hate crimes of more than 200 percent.” He said that in El Paso, Texas, where 23 people were shot and killed in August 2019, Trump had organized a rally the previous February.

During Trump’s rally, he spoke about the “crazy Democrats” running against him for the presidency and specifically called out O’Rourke, accusing him of trying to get rid of guns and religion, the outlet said.

O’Rourke on assault weapons: ‘Hell yeah, we’re taking your AR-15’

When asked during one of the Democratic debates leading up to the 2020 presidential election, O’Rourke was asked about his previously stated plan for American citizens to sell their AR-15s and AK 47s to the government.

“I am, if it were a weapon designed to kill people on a battlefield,” O’Rourke began. a the sound of applause. “If the high-impact, high-velocity round, when it hits your body, it rips apart everything inside your body because it was designed to do that…”

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He added: “Hell yeah, we’re going to take his AR-15, his AK-47, we’re not going to allow it to be used against other Americans anymore.”

O’Rourke slips into Spanish on the debate stage

During the night of one of the first Democratic debates for the 2020 presidential election, O’Rourke, who was running for the nomination at the time, created a meme-worthy moment.

While answering his first question of the night, on marginal tax rates, O’Rourke began his response in English before turning to Spanish.

The bilingual response, and Senator Cory Booker’s reaction, sparked a great deal of chatter and jokes on the Internet.

“When your friend comes back from studying abroad”, the Twitter account of full frontal with samantha bee he joked. The Daily Show with Trevor Noah also joined in on the fun, tweeting: “When dad says ‘Hi how are you?’ to the waiter at the Mexican restaurant.

His affinity for jumping over counters and minivans.

Particularly during his 2020 presidential campaign, O’Rourke earned a reputation for climbing elevated surfaces. A segment produced by CNN in 2019 shows clips of the Texas politician climbing onto counters at various campaign stops and, in one case, even standing on top of a minivan. The outlet notes that despite his tall stature (he stands at 6 feet 4 inches), he can sometimes get lost in the crowd, which explains his propensity to seek higher ground.

Jimmy Fallon mocks O’Rourke’s virality

As a nod to O’Rourke’s many viral moments, talk show host and comedian Jimmy Fallon created a video series in 2019 he called “Beto Breaks The Internet.” The sketches included Fallon posing as the politician in videos that included ASMR, sharing a workout routine, and snapchatting a teeth cleaning with President Obama, perhaps a nod to the real-life teeth-cleaning flow of O’Rourke. In one video, Fallon poses as O’Rourke by attempting “every TikTok challenge.”

“I tried to pick one or two favorites and give them a go. Instead, I ended up with my favorite 104,” Fallon confesses, like O’Rourke. “God, they’re all so great, I couldn’t choose.” In the clip compilation, the comedian attempts a dance, the bottle toss challenge, and a “dummy challenge.” In a failed attempt at the ice bucket challenge, O’Rourke’s real-life wife, Amy, appears in the clip.

‘So, I’m here at the dentist…’

In 2019, ahead of his presidential campaign ad, O’Rourke proved there’s never a bad time to get your message out to your followers, even at the dentist. Live from the dentist’s chair, O’Rourke shared videos on his Instagram story of him interviewing his dental hygienist, Diana, as a continuation of his “frontiers people series.”

Diana spoke about growing up in the “Jefferson area” of Texas and particularly about her mother’s process to study for citizenship, explaining the support she received from her neighborhood. Asked by O’Rourke what she wanted people to know about the border, Diana responded, “It’s a beautiful community…” she says before the video, shared on Twitter by Philip Crowther, cuts off.

O’Rourke drops an F-bomb on live television during his 2018 award speech

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Following his 2018 loss against Senator Cruz, O’Rourke delivered an impassioned concession speech to his supporters, thanking them for their work throughout his campaign, and dropping an F-bomb live on television.

“I want to thank this incredible campaign of people, not a dime from a single PAC, all the people, all the time, in every part of Texas,” he said to cheers. “All of you, showing the country how you do this.”

He continued, “I’m so fucking proud of you,” causing the crowd to roar even louder.

America mewin over O’Rourke’s rock band

At another point in his 2018 Senate campaign, the Texas Republican Party tweeted several old photos of the El Paso native in an effort to discredit him. Instead, their efforts failed and they actually received positive reviews online.

The photos were shared in retaliation for O’Rourke’s refusal to debate Cruz, and included a photo of a younger O’Rourke holding a skateboard, a group photo of O’Rourke’s former punk rock band Foss, and a mug shot from his youth.

According to, O’Rourke was arrested twice in his 20s, once on charges of jumping a fence on the University of Texas El Paso campus, and once on a misdemeanor drunk driving charge. He was never convicted, the outlet reports.

“This makes me like it more,” said one person. wrote on Twitter. “We need elected officials who have lived life, who are not walking corpses in suits.”

Others responded with images of O’Rourke playing guitar in 1994, suggesting that it made him cooler.

O’Rourke talks about NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem

During his 2018 Senate campaign, O’Rourke was asked at a town hall if he felt it was “disrespectful” for NFL players to kneel during the National Anthem. His seemingly offhand response (long, thoughtful, and educational) propelled him to political stardom.

“My short answer is: No, I don’t think it’s disrespectful,” he began before clarifying that “reasonable people can disagree on this issue.”

He continued: “Peaceful, non-violent protests, including taking a knee at a football game to point out that unarmed Black men, unarmed Black teenagers, and unarmed Black children, are being killed on a frightening level right now, including by members law enforcement, without accountability and without justice”.

“And this problem, as serious as it is, is not going to fix itself, and they’re frustrated, frankly, with people like me and those in positions of power and public trust, who haven’t been able to solve this or deliver justice.” for what has been done and so it doesn’t continue to happen in this country,” O’Rourke said.

He added: “And so, nonviolently, peacefully, as the eyes of this country watch these games, they take a knee to bring our attention and our focus to this problem to make sure we fix it. That’s why they’re doing it. And I can’t think of anything more American than peacefully standing up, or taking a knee, for your rights, anytime, anywhere, anywhere.”

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