Gayle King, still tearing up TV news landscape, got the first sit-down with Beto O’Rourke since he officially announced he’s running to beat President Donald Trump in 2020. The full interview airs on Friday’s CBS This Morning, but a clip airs on Thursday’s CBS Evening News.
King reminded O’Rourke he has called for Trump to be impeached and wondered if he still feels that way.
“It’s beyond a shadow of a doubt to me that, if there was not collusion, there was at least the effort to collude with a foreign power, beyond the shadow of a doubt that if there was not obstruction of justice, there certainly was the effort to obstruct justice,” O’Rourke began.
“Whether that’s firing James Comey, the principal investigator into what happened in the 2016 election, or in the light of day, tweeting to your Attorney General, as President Trump did, to end the Russia investigation,” O’Rourke continued.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi does not think that’s the way to go at this particular time, King said, taking another stab at getting an answer.
How Congress chooses to address “those set of facts and the findings which I believe are soon to see from the Mueller report” is “up to them,” O’Rourke informed her.
“I think the American people are going to have a chance to decide this at the ballot box in November 2020. And perhaps that’s the best way for us to resolve these outstanding questions,” he pivoted.
Pelosi has reserved the right to change her mind depending on what comes out of the Mueller probe, but made clear her priority is voting Trump out in 2020 and hanging on to the House, which she said the divisiveness of impeachment could scuttle.
Some political pundits have argued that after suffering Trump for a term, maybe what’s needed is someone in the White House “who has been around the block a few times who has greater experience than yourself,'” King told O’Rourke.
“Clearly you’re not deterred by that,” King observed of the candidate, who showed no lack of self confidence in his first day on the campaign trail, including a Vanity Fair cover in which he said he was “born to to be in” the White House race which even some Dem pundits on CNN acknowledged Thursday fairly dripped with White Male Privilege.
“It depends on what kind of experience you’re looking for,” O’Rourke responded, insisting he has experience “hiring people” and “creating jobs” and “developing the economy of the community in which I live.”
Trump, a NYC real estate developer-turned-hit reality TV star, should have fun with that one.
O’Rourke also noted he has served in local government and “with Amy helping to raise a family” and, as a congressman, has experience at “finding ways to work across the aisle to get legislation passed even when I’m in the minority party.”
Pelosi was asked on Thursday what was O’Rourke signature accomplishment when he served in Congress. That stumped her.
Anyway, King pressed him on the lack of experience thing.
“Well, I’m grateful that ultimately it’s up to voters, and that they’ll have a chance to meet with me, question me, listen to me, and I’ll have a chance to listen to them,” he deflected.