El Paso shooting offers O'Rourke a real-time political test

2 years 4 months 3 days ago Sunday, August 04 2019 Aug 4, 2019 August 04, 2019 3:56 PM August 04, 2019 in News - AP Texas Headlines

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - His once-soaring presidential prospects in swift decline, Beto O'Rourke returned to El Paso, Texas, to try to help cope with the shooting that killed 20 people.

He no longer has the platform of a public office, but he still has his voice.

The former congressman was a persistent presence on his hometown's streets and on news shows Sunday. He tried to offer comfort to his community and to lay at least partial responsibility at the doors of the White House.

The moment is fraught for O'Rourke. If he handles it well, it could inject new vibrancy to his candidacy. But if he overreaches, he risks being criticized for trying to exploit the moment for political expedience.

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