CNN’s Nia-Malika Henderson: ‘Backbencher’ Beto O’Rourke ‘Didn’t Really Do Much’ in Congress

AUSTIN, TEXAS - MARCH 09: Beto O'Rourke attends the "Running with Beto" Premiere 2019 SXSW Conference and Festivals at Paramount Theatre on March 09, 2019 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW)
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW

CNN reporter Nia-Malika Henderson on Thursday referred to newly-announced Democrat presidential candidate Rep. Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke (D-TX) as a “backbencher” in Congress who “didn’t really do much.”

A partial transcript is as follows: 

JOHN BERMAN: Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, who is considering or was considering running for president, just decided not to, was just a guest of Alisyn Camerota, and under, I think, withering questioning from Alisyn had a response which made my eyes pop to the news of the Beto O’Rourke announcement. Let’s listen to this.

SEN. SHERROD BROWN: I have no reaction. One more, one more, one more gets in the race.

JOHN BERMAN: Nia-Malika Henderson, that wasn’t jumping up and down.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON: Yeah, I mean, it was essentially like a yawn. It was just sort of like, “meh.” I think in some ways you might see that from other folks on the Hill. Beto left a light footprint. When he was Congress he didn’t really do much. He talked about that in the Vanity Fair article. He essentially said, well, they weren’t in the majorities, so it was difficult to get things done. He was sort of a backbencher congressman, so doesn’t have much of a legislative record.


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