MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (WOOD) — After the first Democratic presidential primary debate in Detroit Tuesday, a lot of the candidates showed up on network television Wednesday morning. Others decided that they would do some campaigning in Michigan, including former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas.
As all candidates have or will, he headed to Macomb County, the county that President Donald Trump largely credits for his 2016 win in Michigan. O’Rourke’s campaign hosted a conversation at John’s Family Grill, a café in Mount Clemens, about what people are looking for in a presidential candidate. The small group touched on issues ranging from education to gun control.
O’Rourke suggested that if he is chosen as the Democratic nominee, he could turn his home state blue. When asked how he could do that and still retain traditionally Democratic areas like Michigan, he said not to discount Texas voters.
“We showed in Texas that by competing in every single one of the 254 counties, even the reddest and most rural of them, that there is a path forward, a path to win those 38 electoral college votes,” O’Rourke said. “We won more votes than any Democrat ever had before and, importantly in this next election, we won independents for the first time in decades. And nearly half a million Republicans voted for a Republican for governor, voted for us on the same ticket and we had to do nothing more than show up with the courage of our convictions and listen to and learn from the people we wanted to serve, just like we’re doing here today in Macomb County. So do that in Texas, do that in Michigan, do that across this country: Bring everybody in and we defeat Donald Trump.”
Ten more Democratic candidates debate in Detroit Wednesday night.