- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke on Tuesday defended his widely mocked livestream of himself getting a haircut last week, saying his intent was to showcase his Mexican barber’s life story and the contributions immigrants have made to his hometown of El Paso, Texas.

Mr. O’Rourke fielded a range of questions during a televised CNN town hall Tuesday night at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. At the top of the event, CNN’s Dana Bash quipped, “So, nice haircut. … If you make it to the White House, what else will you be livestreaming?”

The former congressman responded, “You know, my intent is to show off my hometown of El Paso, Texas, and this extraordinary barber who produced this haircut that you are seeing right now who moved over from Ciudad Juárez nine years ago at the height of some horrific violence there to start a business in my hometown, to create jobs, to contribute to our quality of life, to help tell the American story.

“This is a country of immigrants and asylum-seekers and refugees from the world over,” he added. “Nothing to be afraid of, everything to celebrate, so that’s what we were trying to do.”

The nearly 18-minute video Mr. O’Rourke posted last week showed the former congressman getting his hair cut and upper back massaged by a barber who he chatted with in Spanish and English.



The former congressman has faced criticism on the right and left for his up-close-and-personal livestreams and diary entries, which many describe as out of touch and self-obsessed. The former congressman, who narrowly lost his 2016 Senate bid against Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, was widely mocked in January for livestreaming his dental cleaning, in which he chatted with his hygienist about life on the U.S.-Mexico border.

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