SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke held a town hall in front of hundreds of supporters in San Francisco’s United Irish Cultural Center on Sunday.
Scheduled to begin at 11:30 AM, the event started nearly an hour late. The crowds didn’t seem to mind, cheering wildly upon his arrival.READ MORE: Oakland A's Silent on Negotiations With City Over New Stadium
“I’m sorry that we’re a little bit late,” explained O’Rourke. “Our plane out on the tarmac for 30 or 40 minutes; all I could think of was high speed rail the entire time I was there. We gotta get that done.”
He discussed issues that are commonly the subjects of his speeches–the need for expanded voter access, universal health care and immigration reform, including what he called the “mother of all” problems: climate change.
“If you think 400,000 apprehensions at our southern border last year was a problem, wait until some countries in the western hemisphere can no longer support human life, then we might have a problem,” he told the crowd. “For 2 weeks the people of this community were wearing masks on their face last year because of the smoke that came here from wildfires that raged at historic levels.”
After his speech, he took questions from the audience. Emily from San Francisco asked, “As President would you stand with the indigenous peoples and block the Keystone XL Tar Sands pipeline?”READ MORE: COVID: Breakthrough Cases Surge Among San Francisco Hospital Staff
To loud applause, O’Rourke said, “The answer is yes.”
Moira Denike is a San Franciscan who was proudly sporting her “Beto for Senate” shirt at the Town Hall. She traveled to Texas last year to campaign for O’Rourke in his attempt to unseat Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz.
“I think all you gotta do is watch a couple videos of him and you’ll get that he just seems really, really earnest,” she said. “I feel like he could carry the day in the general election and that matters a lot to me.”
Ken Richard of Walnut Creek echoed that sentiment. “Personally, I think he’s the most electable of all the candidates,” he said, adding that O’Rourke was right on all the issues he cares about.
“Hopefully he’ll make it. And if he doesn’t he doesn’t and we’ll get behind whoever the Democratic nominee with be.”MORE NEWS: COVID: Highly-Contagious Delta Variant Has Some Parents Rethinking Back-To-School Plans