The GOP, a party with a hard-earned reputation for prejudice of every stripe, decided to break out an old-school form of bigotry for St. Patrick's Day-anti-Irish prejudice. The Republican National Committee's official Twitter account posted presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke's DUI mugshot from his 1999 arrest, captioned it with "please drink responsibly," and topped the image in a leprechaun-style green hat.
On this St. Paddy's Day, a special message from noted Irishman Robert Francis O'Rourke. pic.twitter.com/JRjMEXhZRY- GOP (@GOP) March 17, 2019
O’Rourke’s Republican opponents frequently invoke his Irish heritage to imply that he adopted his nickname, a common Spanish shortening of Roberto, in an effort to pander to Latino voters. The former Texas Senate candidate has repeatedly insisted that he’s been called Beto since childhood-and produced a photo of himself as a kid wearing a sweater embroidered with the nickname to prove it.
Still, some on the right persist in referring to O’Rourke as "Robert Francis O’Rourke" on social media. But linking O’Rourke’s arrest for a drunk driving car crash to his Irish heritage appears to be a new and truly bigoted innovation.
O’Rourke has publicly addressed his his past, which contains two arrests on misdemeanor charges. The former congressman was first arrested in college after activating an alarm while attempting to hop a fence on the campus of University of Texas at El Paso. That case against him was dismissed, and his later DUI charges were resolved through his completion of a misdemeanor diversion program. O'Rourke has since called the DUI "a serious mistake for which there is no excuse."
In the reply's to the GOP account's post, Twitter users were quick to point out that O'Rourke is not the only politician to rack up a DUI-Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz was also arrested for a driving under the influence of alcohol in 2008.
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