Presidential Candidate Beto O’Rourke Brings Campaign To Penn State
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke rolled his campaign through Happy Valley Tuesday morning, taking in the sights of campus before holding a meet and greet event in the HUB.
O’Rourke started his day with ice cream for breakfast, opting for a pint of Scholar’s Chip at the Creamery — much to the chagrin of Penn Staters everywhere.
Hosted by the College Democrats, he made his way across campus for a photo op at the Lion Shrine before heading to the HUB, where hundreds of students and community members awaited his arrival. Lines wrapped around the first floor of the HUB, down the stairs, and out the doors.
O’Rourke made it to Heritage Hall around 10:30 a.m. College Democrats president Katierose Epstein introduced the candidate, who woo-ed the crowd immediately with a Penn State hat and a We Are chant. He described his time in Happy Valley as “one of the most glorious days of his 46 years on Earth.”
In the ensuing hour and a half, O’Rourke touched on a diverse range of issues — immigration, climate change, the American economy, healthcare reform, and women’s empowerment. As citizens young and old looked on, O’Rourke outlined his plans for improving what he called the great experiment of the United States of America.
He spoke of his intentions of reuniting separated families, freeing more than one million dreamers, and rewriting current immigration laws. He also discussed a vision of universal healthcare, where people like his neighbors in El Paso, Texas, would have the opportunity to visit the doctor more than once in a lifetime. He talked about his hopes to save the environment, create an economic democracy, and ensure that everyone who works in America can earn and expect a living wage.
O’Rourke made it clear that his campaign will be centered around lifting people up, rather than tearing others down. Following the speech, O’Rourke took questions from the audience and later shook hands, signed autographs, and even took some selfies with students and adults who were eager to meet the 2020 presidential hopeful.
The Pennsylvania Primary for the 2020 presidential election is still more than a year away, and O’Rourke is far from alone in a crowded democratic field. Sixteen democrats have announced their candidacy so far, hoping to spend the next year securing the Democratic nomination for president. O’Rourke is the first Democratic candidate to hold a public 2020 campaign event in Pennsylvania.
Next up is in New Hampshire, where O’Rourke is scheduled to begin meet and greets Tuesday night.
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“We’re kind of like a really quirky frat that happens to know far too much about tea.”
The festival is a family affair for the newly-named executive director of Movin’ On 2020, Michelle Mischler. Her sister, Katie, served as the executive director for the 2017 and 2018 festivals.
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