Beto O’Rourke Called Out As ‘Shill’ By Mike Gravel Before 2020 Debate

Former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke speaks to the media in the spin room after the first night of the Democratic presidential debate.
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Although Democratic presidential candidate Mike Gravel didn’t make the first debate stage to push his anti-war message and attack the Democratic Party elites — his campaign’s primary goal instead of actually becoming president — he still got to attend the event. And as his social media proves, he made the most of it by calling out presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke as a “shill” for his fans to see.

“Gravel 2020 is the best timeline and I’m just glad I get to see it,” one fan wrote.

“I love you guys haha,” said another user, referring to Gravel and his campaign team, manager David Oks and chief of staff Henry Williams, both just 18.

“Well done!” another chimed in.

O’Rourke’s performance was generally not well received. The Hill reports that CNN political analyst Van Jones suggested on the network’s Anderson Cooper 360 that O’Rourke’s 2020 debate performance might be the last we see of him.

“I think he’s done because there was such hope and expectation about him.”

Jones said that Wednesday was O’Rourke’s time to shine and remind the American people of the reasons that he has risen to prominence, “and on the issue he should have at least been fluent on, he got his butt kicked hard.”

The 50-year-old is referring to O’Rourke’s answers on immigration policy and spar with former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, who accused O’Rourke of failing to decriminalize migrant families attempting to enter the United States.

As The Inquisitr reported, Cory Booker’s reaction to O’Rourke switching from English to Spanish during his first question went viral, and many appear to think it was the most memorable moment of the night. While some believe Booker’s dumbfounded reaction was out of embarrassment for O’Rourke, others suggested that he was worried because he planned to speak Spanish during the debates — which he later did.

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But Booker claims that his response was shock from the realization that he had to up his game.

“I just knew he had laid a gauntlet down,” Booker said on Anderson Cooper 360. “And I was talking a little bit with [Julián] Castro. Both he and I knew, as people who can speak Spanish, that now we were gonna bring it as well.”

Booker previously spoke of his fluency in the Spanish language and highlighted his time in Ecuador in a Spanish language emersion program. Per The Inquisitr, Booker suggested that his Spanish skills are more conversational nowadays, although he did manage to respond using the language during the debate.