With his abysmal performance as a presidential candidate, I think it is safe to say that Beto O’Rourke will not be president and that is a good thing. Monday he told reporters that President Trump “has no place” in El Paso and he should not come, though El Paso Mayor Dee Margo announced a visit is planned Wednesday. Unlike the immature presidential candidate, the mayor will greet the president and meet with him.
Beto O’Rourke behaves as though his emotional maturity never left high school. It is one thing to be caught off guard and choke up after the mass shooting in his hometown, as he did last Saturday. It is completely unacceptable how O’Rourke has acted since then. He is incapable of speaking in a civil way about President Trump and now he wants Trump to stay away from El Paso. It isn’t O’Rourke’s decision to make, of course, but Beto’s emotions have gotten the best of him once too often.
Beto isn’t even voicing an original thought by insisting Trump stay out of El Paso. Hyper-partisan Democrat Representative Veronica Escobar said the same. What both fail to understand is that whether they like it or not, President Trump is the president for the whole country, including El Paso, Texas. It is his job to come and comfort the grieving community as well as meet with local officials. All presidents are expected to rise above the pettiness and govern the whole country, including attending to those who didn’t vote for him.
This president, who helped create the hatred that made Saturday's tragedy possible, should not come to El Paso. We do not need more division. We need to heal. He has no place here.
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 5, 2019
While O’Rourke says the city needs to heal, which is true, he goes on to say Trump has no place in El Paso, which isn’t true. Fortunately, Mayor Dee Margo is a grown-up and announced Monday that President Trump will visit El Paso on Wednesday. Mayor Margo does not have a good relationship with the president but he rose above his feelings and said he’ll welcome Trump to El Paso and meet with him. He correctly said it is his job as mayor and he intends to do his job. Trump has been in El Paso in previous stops – like the rally he held for Ted Cruz during the 2016 Senate race – and the mayor hasn’t welcomed him or met with him. This time is different. Mayor Margo told reporters that Trump called and spoke with him Sunday and that Trump was “very gracious” and offered any help that El Paso may need.
“It was a brief call,” the mayor said. “Nothing overly specific. I made no request at that time, I said we’re waiting to see what settles. He’s coming out here on Wednesday.”
Margo said he is welcoming the president to the city as a part of his formal duties. The White House has not yet commented on or confirmed that Mr. Trump is making the trip.
The remarkable part of the announcement from the mayor, which happened during a general press conference with city officials and elected representatives, was the response from reporters. Mayor Margo tried to get out in front of what he no doubt knew would be a hostile response from reporters and explained that greeting and meeting with President Trump is part of his job. That didn’t dissuade reporters from hammering him. Reporters all but demanded to know why he made the decision to do his job. The reporters didn’t cover themselves in glory and the mayor didn’t appreciate their partisan-motivated questions. He tersely responded that the purpose of explaining his decision before he opened it up to questions was to avoid exactly what the reporters were doing – devolving into purely partisan politics, not what is best for the city of El Paso. And he acknowledged that he is getting emails and phone calls from those in El Paso who do not agree with his decision.
“I represent the office of the mayor of El Paso, Texas. This is not a political visit, as he had before. Which I did not visit with him, but was noted from the podium as I recall and he is the president of the United States,” Mayor Dee Margo told reporters. “So in that capacity I will fulfill my obligations as mayor of El Paso to meet with the president and discuss whatever our needs are in this community and hope that if we were expressing specifics that we can get him to come through for us.”
When pressed by reporters, Margo said he understood why people would not want him to meet with the president but said, “We are not dealing with that right now. We are dealing with a tragedy of 22 people who have perished by an evil, hateful act of a white supremacist that has no bearing or belong in El Paso.”
“I don’t have a textbook for dealing with evil other than the Bible. I’m sorry. We’re gonna go through this. The president is coming out and I will meet with the president and I guess for people who have lots of time on their hands I will deal with their emails and their phone calls,” he concluded.
Unlike Beto O’Rourke, the mayor of El Paso is doing the best he can in a bad situation. He doesn’t have a relationship with President Trump yet he knows he should meet with him and discuss how El Paso can move forward. The city has issued a Local Disaster Declaration. The mayor and the president will talk about any federal assistance that is available. They can also open up a line of communication about how cities can deal with these horrific events in the future.
Crying, cursing, and demonizing the president is not going to help anything. It doesn’t comfort grieving families. It doesn’t help heal a city in shock. Beto O’Rourke is all about Beto O’Rourke. He hopes his bad behavior will show him to be some kind of macho leader while in reality, it shows his weakness. Beto isn’t a leader. He followed Rep. Escobar’s ugly demand that Trump not come to El Paso. He chooses to act like a petulant teenager overcome with his own emotions instead of rising to do what is best for his hometown. O’Rourke doesn’t understand the job of the president. He must not be rewarded for his inept behavior.