Democratic Debate: Beto O’Rourke Dodges First Question—in English and Spanish

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) deflected a question about his support for a 70 percent tax rate on Wednesday by launching into a speech in both English and Spanish.

During the first presidential debate O’Rourke was asked if he would support a 70 percent marginal income tax by the moderators. Instead of answering the question directly, O’Rourke lambasted the state of the American economy.

“This economy has got to work for everyone and right now we know that it isn’t,” he said. “It’s going take all of us coming together to make sure that it does.”

O’Rourke then reiterated his point in Spanish.

“We have to include everyone in the success of the economy,” he said. “But if we want to do that, we have to include everyone in our democracy. Each voter we need the representation [sic].”

O’Rourke’s fellow 2020 competitor, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) appeared confused by the bilingual response.

After using up all of his time without answering the question, O’Rourke was given the option to answer the question. He again deflected from providing a direct answer, talking about corporate tax rates instead of answering the yes-or-no question about this particular personal income tax figure.

Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, another Texan vying for the White House, was one of the first candidates to signal his support for a 70 percent marginal tax rate after it was proposed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

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