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Beto O'Rourke: One-on-one exclusive

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Posted at 9:47 PM, Sep 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-29 15:38:50-04

WACO, Texas — Democratic candidate for governor Beto O’Rourke passed through Waco on Wednesday as part of a 15-stop, college campus tour.

In front of some 200-plus supporters, and even a few detractors, O’Rourke touched on just about everything impacting Texas this cycle: immigration, the energy grid, school safety and guns, abortion and more.

WEB EXTRA: Beto on immigration

Immigration Todd Beto

Before the stump speech, he sat down with 25 News anchor Todd Unger for a private one-on-one interview to discuss the issues. Here’s a partial transcript of their conversation:

Todd: About six weeks to go here, latest poll out this week has you down about eight points. It has been tighter than that over the summer. Are you losing any momentum here?

Beto: You know, I think that as Abbott gets up early on TV and spends millions of dollars, there's going to be an impact to that. But we've just recently gone up on TV ourselves. And as we remind Texas voters that Greg Abbott's responsible for a total ban on abortion, with no exception for rape or incest, women can no longer make their own decisions about their own bodies in this state.

Todd: You mention abortion. If you're elected, what can you realistically get through Austin [and the legislature]?

Beto: You know, not only do 86 percent of Texans oppose Greg Abbott's total abortion ban, but 78 percent of Republicans oppose his total abortion ban. In other words, I think there might actually be some common ground there. As state representatives listen to their voters, especially ahead of their next reelection. They want to make sure that we're not known for the extremism of this law.
Todd: When it comes to school safety, or perhaps reasonable gun reform, how do you again get through anything through Austin?

Beto: One, raise the age to purchase an AR-15 to 21. Two, have a red flag law so that if someone with a firearm threatening to use it against someone else, law enforcement can intervene. Three, let’s make sure we have a universal background check.

Todd: Back in 2019, you pretty famously said, ‘Hell yeah, we're gonna take your AR-15s.’ You still feel that way?

Beto: What I feel like we need to do is find common ground and take action. We can stand on principle, we can hope for our ideal of perfection, or we can make sure that we make progress.

Todd: The power grid. I know you've been harping on that quite a bit. We were close this summer to some rolling blackouts, thankfully didn't happen, but is that just the new reality for Texas?

Beto: This failed grid does not have to be our future. Not only did we have three conservation notices this summer because the grid is still not fixed. Toyota canceled their third shift in San Antonio because they were drawing down too much power from the grid. We need to winterize and weatherize every inch of this grid. We need to make sure that we connect ERCOT, our grid, with the national grid so we can draw down power when we need it.”

25 News has reached out repeatedly to Governor Abbott’s office and campaign to conduct a one-on-one interview, but so far no date has been set.