Beto O'Rourke's "lifelong Republican mother" not so lifelong

Beto O’Rourke may be down in the polls by double digits but he’s still out on the trail trying to win over voters with his compelling life story. One big part of that tale involves his mother, a “lifelong Republican” who has finally seen the light and is supporting both her son and the Democratic Party. It’s a great campaign talking point, but the truth appears to be either more complicated than that or something else entirely. The Washington Times reports this week that Mrs. O’Rourke has actually been a frequent Democratic voter, and while she’s given money to candidates from both parties, she’s definitely chipped in for Democrats, including Barack Obama.

Rep. Beto O’Rourke often touts his mother in speeches and interviews as a lifelong Republican, who now supports his effort to unseat Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. Not really.

According to a CNN report Tuesday, Melissa O’Rourke is a frequent voter in Democratic primaries who donated to Barack Obama before he became president.

“Melissa O’Rourke has largely voted in Democratic primaries in Texas since 2000, and she has donated money to candidates from both parties. She donated to Cruz and Republican Mitt Romney in 2012, but she also previously donated to the presidential campaign of then-Democratic Sen. Barack Obama in 2007,” CNN reported.

She sounds more like an independent than anything else, but CNN’s reporting indicates that when it comes to primary elections, she voted in the Democratic primary 15 of the last 17 times stretching back to 2000. So this “sudden conversion” to Democratic principles doesn’t look particularly new. She clearly doesn’t care for President Trump, but her voting record doesn’t fit in with the picture her son has been painting on the campaign trail.

I’m not sure why this even became an issue in the first place. So Beto loves his mother and she both loves and supports him. How is this unusual? You’d have to be in a seriously politically divided family if you can’t even get your mom to show up and toss you a vote.

The bigger question here is why O’Rourke would twist his family history in this way to drive home a message which was of almost no political value. What is it with Democrats and their recent tendency to fabricate portions of their family stories for political advantage? I’m immediately reminded of Julia Salazar, the New York Assembly candidate who essentially rewrote her entire biography to present a more appealing campaign figure. She turned out to be one of the biggest frauds in recent election history.

Of course, now that I think about it, Salazar did go on to win her primary race and is a dead-lock to win in the general election. Maybe Beto is on to something here after all.