According to new reports, prominent donors for Democrat presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke are now scrambling to do damage control following a disastrous performance during the first Democratic debate on Thursday.
Following O’Rourke’s poor performance, top donors reportedly held a conference call to “coach” the would-be presidential contender on how to better handle the chaotic debate forums.
With the election drawing ever nearer, Democrat candidates in the crowded pool of hopefuls seeking the party’s nomination have increasingly turned on one another, leading to some tense moments for O’Rourke and others looking to oppose President Trump in 2020.
Top donors to Robert “Beto” O’Rourke hopped on a post-debate call Thursday with advice on how to improve after poor debate performance reviews.
Beto O’Rourke’s lead fundraiser organized the call that included the candidate’s top donors and bundlers, according to CNBC. Louis Susman put together plans the day before the debate to hold the call the day after.
People with direct knowledge of the matter told the outlet talk on the call centered around O’Rourke’s debate performance compared to the nine other 2020 candidates on stage. The discussion was said to be mixed, with some giving positive reviews while others offered advice on how to improve his performance.
The report noted public criticism of O’Rourke for poor debate performance and questions from media pundits on whether O’Rourke would leave the race and run again for U.S. Senate. CNN personality Van Jones suggested the debate may have been O’Rourke’s “last hurrah,” according to the report.
One donor who was on the call and spoke anonymously with CNBC called O’Rourke “a much larger threat than I even thought this early in the race,” but admitted, “the platform last night was clearly out of his comfort zone.” He said the changes O’Rourke needs to make are “purely stylistic.”
O’Rourke supporter and faithful Democrat donor Robert Wolf told the outlet that Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Julian Castro were the three winners out of ten presidential hopefuls in Wednesday nights’ debate that included O’Rourke. He would not comment on O’Rourke’s performance.
Campaign spokesman Chris Evans told the outlet the campaign is proud of O’Rourke’s debate performance.
Susman, the organizer of the call, served as a top bundler for then-candidate Barack Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign.