Failed Texas Senate Candidate and 2020 hopeful Robert “Beto” O’Rourke will readily admit that he was involved in a crash resulting from driving under the influence, but absolutely denies the fact he attempted to flee the scene as witnesses claim.
“I did not try to leave the scene of the accident, though driving drunk, which I did, is a terrible mistake for which there is no excuse or justification or defense,” O’Rourke said back in September during his debate with Sen. Ted Cruz.
However, the Texas Tribune tracked down the officers involved in the 1998 arrest, and according to them, O’Rourke is trying to rewrite history:
The former police officer who arrested Beto O’Rourke for driving drunk in 1998, along with the sergeant who signed the incident report, both say they believe now what they reported at the time: that O’Rourke tried to leave the scene of the wreck he caused. …
Neither the investigating officer, Richard Carrera, nor his former supervisor, Gary Hargrove, specifically recalls the events of that night more than 20 years ago. But both of the former Anthony Police Department officers told The Texas Tribune they have no doubt the report they compiled and signed is accurate.
“I believe we have contradicting stories here,” said Carrera, who arrested the 26-year-old O’Rourke and took him to a police station to undergo a breath test. “I stand by my report.”
Carrera, 49, said after reading the police report, in which an unnamed witness claimed O’Rourke tried to flee in his Volvo, he has “no doubt that he tried to leave the scene.”
As Ed Morrissey wrote at Town Hall, it’s an odd thing for O’Rourke to continuously deny as any immediate mea culpa would have put it to bed, and yet despite repeated evidence pointing to the contrary, O’Rourke is still holding tight to the lie and continuing to make the issue larger than it should be:
Why bother flogging this modified limited hangout at all? The DWI was old news even during O’Rourke’s run at Cruz’ seat, and a full and undisputed apology would have neutered the issue. Perhaps O’Rourke is concerned over the political damage that such a display of cowardice could create, but if he was that drunk, there’s a handy excuse for it if not an explanation. (Stephen Green quipped at Instapundit: “Looks like Bobby, runs like Ted.”) Instead, O’Rourke keeps making this issue fresh with every denial that cuts against all the available evidence, and adds the issue of dishonesty to the problem as well. Take Kessler’s suggestion and chalk it up to bad memory and move on.
Regardless of his reasoning for it, O’Rourke likely can’t go back now. Admitting that he did try to flee the scene will now not only show he was a coward facing justice then, but he’s also a coward about telling the truth now. No matter how you slice it, it’s not a good look for a 2020 presidential candidate.