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Abbott Campaign Misleadingly Edits Beto O’Rourke Audio Clip In Attack Ad

Gov. Greg Abbott’s campaign released a misleading advertisement in which it sounds as if his opponent in the governor’s race, Beto O’Rourke, is categorically endorsing defunding the police, according to a CNN report

In the ad, video is shown of Mr. O’Rourke saying, “I really love that Black Lives Matters and other protesters have put this front and center to defund…” – at this point, the video cuts away from O’Rourke, the audio changes subtly, and O’Rourke’s voice intones – “police forces.”

The reason the video suddenly cuts away is because 60 words were cut from the quote. “That is not a sentence Beto O’Rouke ever uttered,” said CNN fact checker Daniel Dale. 

The Abbott campaign took a sentence from a podcast interview O’Rourke did two years ago in which he supported defunding “you know, these line items that have overmilitarized our police, and instead invest that money in the human capital of your community, make sure that you have the services, the help, the support, the health care necessary to be well and not require police intervention. And then also in some necessary cases, completely dismantling those police forces and rebuilding them.”

O’Rourke has consistently said that he opposes defunding the police. At a town hall event in July O’Rourke said, “I don’t see eye-to-eye with you on defunding the police,” O’Rourke said to an attendee. “I want to make sure we can count on the police and that means making sure they have the resources and funding they need, the training that they need.”

A spokesperson for Beto’s campaign said O’Rourke has repeatedly voted to increase police budgets as a member of the El Paso City Council and as a member of Congress.

“As governor, Beto will ensure that law enforcement agencies have the resources they need to address violent crime, bring justice to victims, and keep our communities safe,” the spokesperson said. “Beto will also invest more resources in mental health services, social workers, and addiction treatment. “

Nick Anderson
Nick Anderson
Writer, editor, photographer and editorial cartoonist Nick Anderson has joined the Reform Austin newsroom, where he will employ the artistic skill and political insights that earned a Pulitzer Prize to drive coverage of Texas government. As managing editor, Anderson is responsible for guiding Reform Austin’s efforts to give readers the unfiltered facts they need to hold Texas leaders accountable. Anderson’s original cartoons will be a regular feature on RA News. “Reform Austin readers understand the consequences of electing politicians who use ideological agendas to divide us, when they should be doing the hard work necessary to make our state government work for everyone,” Anderson said. “As a veteran journalist, I’m excited about Reform Austin’s potential to re-focus conversations on the issues that matter to common-sense Texans – like protecting our neighborhoods from increasingly common disasters, healthcare, just to name a few.” Anderson worked for the Houston Chronicle, the largest newspaper in Texas, from 2006 until 2017. In addition to the Pulitzer, Anderson earned the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award. He’s also a two-time winner of Columbia College’s Fischetti Award, and the National Press Foundation’s Berryman Award. Anderson’s cartoons have been published in Newsweek, the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune and other papers. In 2005, Anderson won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning while working for the Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky. The judges complimented his “unusual graphic style that produced extraordinarily thoughtful and powerful messages.”


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