Beto O’Rourke Claims He Doesn’t Want Outside Influence After Raking in Hollywood Cash

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Texas Democrat Senate candidate Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke claimed in an interview released Sunday evening that he has shied away from campaigning with Democrats from outside the Lone Star State because he wants voters to decide who they will support “on their own terms.” The comments from Beto O’Rourke come after the far-left candidate has received large campaign contributions from Hollywood celebrities.

While prominent Democrats, including former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have crisscrossed the country in support of candidates such as gubernatorial hopefuls Andrew Gillum and Stacey Abrams, none have campaigned for O’Rourke in Texas. “I’m not distancing myself. But I don’t want anyone coming in from the outside. I want the people of Texas to decide this on, on their own terms,” Beto O’Rourke told CBS’s 60 Minutes. 

O’Rourke’s comments stand in stark contrast to his embrace of Hollywood’s biggest stars, who have poured millions into his campaign. Support for Democrats from Tinseltown left-wingers is nothing new, but O’Rourke has taken it to new heights this midterm election.

The Democratic congressman whom, who according to RealClearPolitics, trails his Republican rival Sen. Ted Cruz by 6.5 percent, has been ubiquitous on the showbiz circuit.

After making a September appearance on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show, O’Rourke jetted to Manhattan, showing up on Stephen Colbert’s late-night show and attending a fundraiser hosted by Bravo network’s Andy Cohen. Later, country singer Willie Nelson threw a concert for O’Rourke in Austin, Texas.

Mr. Nelson has long called Texas home and thus will probably seem less Hollywood than others. Yet as the social media backlash against his upcoming gig showed, not everyone is happy to see the stars come out.

Hollywood’s swollen wallets have often opened for liberal causes and Democrats, although often that is most noticeable in presidential elections and with national topics such as gun control or abortion. The 2018 midterms, with a progressive base energized by animus toward President Trump, offer an unusual moment in which movie stars are getting more granular, as in Mr. O’Rourke’s bid to unseat Cruz.

Cruz previously spoofed Hollywood’s Beto love affair with a photoshopped picture of “BETOWOOD” as the famed sign in the hills above Los Angeles. “We’ve been told that Hollywood is afraid of being outdone by New York after last night’s fundraiser, so now they’re pulling out all the stops. #DontCaliforniaOurTexas,” Cruz tweeted along with the humorous graphic.

Employees at Creative Artists Agency, a Hollywood powerhouse firm, have donated $12,100 to Mr. O’Rourke, good for 48th on his list of most common employers among contributors. Overall, CAA employees have donated nearly $2250,000 to Democrats this cycle, compared to $13,000 to GOP candidates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics’ numbers.

According to FEC filings, Beto O’Rourke is getting donations from some of the biggest liberal celebrities in America.

Recent FEC filings show O’Rourke received checks from some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. “Sarah Jessica Parker, Jimmy Kimmel and Rosie O’Donnell have each thrown down $2,700 … while Chelsea Handler plunked down $2,500 and Chris Rock has tossed in $1,000. Beto also got $5,400 each from Connie Britton, Tate Donovan and ‘Star Wars’ director Rian Johnson,” reported TMZ.

Republican officials in Texas said they are familiar with facing off against on-screen star power.

“It just shows again that O’Rourke’s base of support is a collection of bicoastal liberals in Hollywood and New York,” said state GOP Chairman James Dickey. “Fortunately, Hollywood’s never spoken for Texas voters, because Beto O’Rourke’s off-the-cliff liberal policies may be attractive to Californians, but not Texans. Texans appreciate that life is better in Texas because of policies Ted Cruz and the Republican leadership have put in place here.”

While O’Rourke’s Senate bid has been boosted by donations from high-profile Hollywood figures, celebrities have also used their social media cache to gin up support for the Democrat candidate.
Comedian and former View talk show host Rosie O’Donnell previously declared her support for O’Rourke, tweeting in May, “If u loathe trump – then u must abhor ted cruz – donate to beto o’rourke … SAVE AMERICA.”

Failed Netflix talk show host Chelsea Handler has been encouraging her nearly nine million Twitter followers to donate to O’Rouke’s campaign since last December. All told, more than 13 million Twitter users have been urged to support the Democrat’s bid to defeat Cruz. In the same month, actress and gun control activist Alyssa Milano tweeted the amount in donations given to Cruz by the NRA “gun lobby.” The tweet included an image that appeared to connect Cruz’s “Career NRA Money” to the purported 15,152 “Career Gun Deaths” that have occurred since he took office.

In October, Jimmy Kimmel encouraged fans to support to O’Rouke at the polls, saying, “This race is so tight, that Cruz had to ask his former arch enemy Donald Trump for a boost, and the President lend a tiny hand at a rally for Ted Cruz in Houston tonight.”

“That had to be the saddest phone call Ted Cruz ever had to make,” the comedian told viewers. “I mean, imagine if your neighbor insulted your wife’s face, and then you had to ask him to loan you a weed whacker. That’s Ted Cruz’s life right now. Imagine how hilarious it will be if Ted Cruz is forced to kiss his bully’s ass in front of the whole world, and then loses anyway. Come on, I mean, if nothing else, do it for comedy’s sake.”

Also, as Breitbart News reported, O’Rourke has raked in cash from some prominent Hollywood celebrities:

According to FEC filings, Beto O’Rourke is getting donations from some of the biggest liberal celebrities in America.

“Sarah Jessica Parker, Jimmy Kimmel and Rosie O’Donnell have each thrown down $2,700 … while Chelsea Handler plunked down $2,500 and Chris Rock has tossed in $1,000. Beto also got $5,400 each from Connie Britton, Tate Donovan and ‘Star Wars’ director Rian Johnson,” TMZ reports.

As an example of left-wingers in Hollywood involved at the moment in a national issue, several of them have backed the campaign to give money to the opponent of Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins should she vote against the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh. This “never-used before conditional fundraising [that] sets wave for future advocacy,” as its organizers bill it, has attracted money from familiar left-wingers in showbiz such as Chelsea Handler, Amy Schumer, and Debra Messing.

Other Hollywood fundraising efforts on behalf of Democrats are in the works. For instance, DreamWorks founding partner Jeffrey Katzenberg hosted a Beverly Hills fete for Democrats like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Sept. 24 at which some of Hollywood’s best-known liberals, such as Barbra Streisand and Steven Spielberg attended, according to industry press. Similarly, Jimmy Kimmel was an “emcee” at a fundraiser Los Angeles Democratic Mayor Eric Garcetti and helped raise $1 million for Democrats in 10 state races. Further, Variety has reported that some actors like Alyssa Milano and Ron Livingston have quietly been meeting with “politicians and Democratic National Committee figures.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 


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