Democratic candidate for governor Beto O'Rourke sat down with FOX 4's Steven Dial to discuss some of the most important issues facing his campaign.
O'Rourke is trailing Governor Greg Abbott by 7 points according to a UT Tyler poll, but the candidate says he thinks the governor's office is in play.
"You look at this total abortion ban that Greg Abbott signed into law. There is no exception for rape or incest. You look at the power grid failure last year that killed more than 700 of our fellow Texans. These attacks on educators, how underpaid they are, but now having to worry that their governor is going to come after them for CRT, or the governor wants them to turn in the parents of transgender students. All that might tempt someone to despair or give up and instead the people of Texas are stepping up," O'Rourke said.
O'Rourke on Abortion
O'Rourke said he believes the issue of abortion will bring women from other parties to support his campaign.
"This is essentially a referendum on whether we are going to back literally a half a century or whether this state is going to move forward," O'Rourke said. "There are going to be folks who have never voted in an election before because they didn't think it mattered and they know, in this one, literally their lives are on the line."
O'Rourke on the Border
A UT Austin poll in February found that border security was the most important issue facing Texans.
O'Rourke discussed a Texas-based guest worker program that would allow people from other countries to work in the state. He also proposed an easier way for families seeking asylum to stay together.
"I would end the involuntary activation of these members of the [National] Guard. I think there is still a role for those who volunteer to serve in a complimentary role with Border Patrol, along with some contingent DPS state troopers," O'Rourke said.
When asked if President Biden has done enough about the border, the Democrat said he didn't think he had.
"No, I don't anyone in a position of power is doing enough on the border right now," O'Rourke said.
O'Rourke on Guns
Gun safety has been a large topic of conversation among Texans since 19 children and 2 teachers were killed in a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.
O'Rourke criticized his Republican opponent for failing to call a special legislative session to pass gun safety laws.
"A governor, Greg Abbott, who called a special session to go after CRT, to go after trans kids, to go after our election laws could not be bothered over these last 13 weeks to call a special session to make us safer in our classrooms. Kids across our state are already back in school and their eyes are on us saying, ‘hey guys, why in the last three months could you not do anything to make it less likely that I’ll end up the same way that those kids in Uvalde?'" O'Rourke said.
O'Rourke proposed raising the minimum age for Texans to buy an AR-15 from 18 to 21, universal background checks, and a red flag laws that he believe could be passed with bipartisan support.