CNN political analyst Van Jones suggested that the first Democratic presidential debate Wednesday night may have been White House hopeful Beto O’Rourke’s “last hurrah.”
Jones called out the former Texas congressman for not being able to capture the same level of excitement for his presidential bid as he did in his 2018 Senate run against Sen. (R-Texas).
“I think he’s done because there was such hope and expectation about him,” Jones said on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” during a panel discussion following the debate hosted by NBC in Miami.
“[Wednesday’s debate] was really the night to remind people why he was this incredible rising star, and on the issue he should have at least been fluent on, he got his butt kicked hard,” he added.
“Unfortunately I think that may have been Beto’s last hurrah… I think he’s done.”
CNN’s @VanJones68 pans ‘s performance during Wednesday’s #DemDebate, saying he fell far short of the “hope and expectation” his supporters had for him. https://t.co/m0OaeKKWqI pic.twitter.com/LoDw80IvLs
— CNN (@CNN) June 27, 2019
The political commentator was criticizing O’Rourke’s answers on immigration policy in the debate, especially after he sparred with former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro (D).
O’Rourke called for comprehensive immigration reform, but Castro accused O’Rourke’s plan of still criminalizing migrant families attempting to enter the U.S.
Jones added during the panel discussion that he thought Sen. (D-Mass) and Castro were the winners of Wednesday night’s debate.
“Elizabeth Warren looked like a college professor with a bunch of graduate students around her half the time,” he said.
“She is able to go back and forth between policy and the human thing better than anybody, but it was Castro that came out of nowhere. Nobody was talking about Castro. He did the Texas takedown, turned around, clocked Beto,” Jones said.
— Van Jones (@VanJones68) June 27, 2019
O’Rourke launched his campaign in March while boasting the potential for strong fundraising and the ability to compete in battleground states following his narrow loss to Cruz last year in Texas.
However, the former congressman has struggled to reach the top tier of recent national polls, falling behind a handful of other candidates the past couple months.