Beto O'Rourke speaks on abortions, Texas border in interview

Beto O'Rourke was in Houston, August 25, just before leaving the campaign trail after getting sick. 

On August 28, in a pre-recorded interview for "Texas: The Issue Is," the democrat gubernatorial candidate was on TV in three of the Lone Star State's top markets. 

O'Rourke, in the exclusive interview, made a bold declaration in response to the following question from FOX 4's Steven Dial.

O’Rourke was asked if he believes the abortion issue is something that's going to draw people over to the Democrats. He answered by indicating he is expecting a statement at November’s midterm ballot box.

"This is essentially a referendum on whether we're going to go back literally half a century or whether this state is going to move forward," said O’Rourke.

In making that statement, O'Rourke noted two women lawyers from Texas were instrumental in bringing about Roe v. Wade. Sunday night, he predicted Texas women will also be the swing vote in the 2022 midterms.

"And they will be Republicans, they'll be independents, they'll be Democrats like. They'll be folks who've never voted in an election before because they didn't think it mattered. And they know that in this one, literally their lives are on the line. They'll be coming out," said O’Rourke.

Monday, former Texas GOP chairman James Dickey agreed with only part of what O’Rourke said.

"He is correct. Lives are at stake. He is wrong {about which lives}, the lives that are at stake are the hundreds of thousands of babies," said Dickey.

Republicans like James Dickey claim O’Rourke supports late-term abortions, even up to the due date. 

FOX 7 reached out to the O’Rourke Campaign to respond to the accusation. FOX 7 specifically asked if O’Rourke supports abortion in the third trimester. Chris Evans, the Texas Communications Director for O'Rourke, sent the follow statement:

"Greg Abbott has outlawed abortion across the state beginning at conception with no exception for rape or incest even though 82% of Texas voters oppose this radical attack on the freedom, health and lives of Texas women. Beto believes that we must repeal the most extreme abortion ban in America and restore a woman's freedom to make her own deeply personal and private decisions about her body, health care and future. That begins by finding common ground with the 83% of Democrats and 78% of Republicans who agree that Abbott's extreme abortion ban is wrong for Texas. Like the vast majority of Texans, Beto has long supported the standard set by Roe v. Wade, which for half a century prohibited states from outlawing abortion in cases where the pregnancy threatened the life of the pregnant woman."

A follow-up request for clarification was made by FOX 7. We asked again if O’Rourke supports late-term abortions. The following statement was sent from the Beto O’Rourke campaign. 

"Beto has long supported the standard set by Roe v. Wade, which prohibited states from outlawing abortion in cases where the pregnancy threatened the life of the pregnant woman. That standard allowed for women and their doctors to make this personal and often painful decision later in the pregnancy if the abortion was necessary to save the woman's life."

O’Rourke, according to James Dickey, is misleading voters.

"There absolutely are a lot of angry people out there. And O'Rourke needs to keep them from talking about the things they're actually angry about. They're angry about the insanity and the misleading and the and the terrible failure to lead from Washington on the economy, on gasoline, on the border, on all sorts of things that have very much day-to-day impact on Texans. And so he's got to come up with any shiny object he can," said Dickey.

O'Rourke also talked about the border, and if he'd continue Operation Lone Star.

"I would end the involuntary activation of these members of the Guard. I think there's still a role for those who volunteer to serve in a complementary capacity, along with Border Patrol, along with some contingent of DPS state troopers," said O’Rourke.

Dickey believes a border scale back is a terrible idea

"I mean, just ask the mayor of New York, who talked about how out of control it was, he was having to deal with a few thousand illegal immigrants that had gotten bused up there from here," said Dickey.

O'Rourke also pitched the idea for a Texas guest worker program. But Dickey pointed out, only the federal government can do that, and has failed to do that, even with democrats in charge.

"They have the presidency and the House and the Senate. If they wanted to pass immigration reform, they could have done it, and they haven't," said Dickey.

"Texas: The Issue Is" will provide a one-on-one intro with Governor Greg Abbott Sunday, Sept. 4.