Incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is being challenged by Democrat Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke for his Senate seat in the midterm elections, and it has been a tight race so far, though that could change going forward in light of O’Rourke recent controversial actions.
O’Rourke recently expressed support for the kneeling NFL players, saying there was “nothing more American” than protesting the American flag, prompting Cruz to fire back: “When Beto O’Rourke says he can’t think of anything more American, well I got to admit, I can,” referencing military service members and veterans who salute the flag. Now a VFW post commander says O’Rourke campaign members also asked to take down that beloved flag from the walls of the VFW hall during a campaign event.
Commander Carl Dry of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall, Post 4006 in Navasota, Texas, said that O’Rourke’s campaign had rented the hall as a venue for a town hall meeting and two campaign members had requested that the flags adorning the walls be taken down.
O’Rourke’s campaign denies that any such request was made.
Not no, but hell no
In an interview with a local media outlet, The Navasota Examiner, Dry explained, “I do not normally attend rental events, but I attended Saturday to make sure things ran smoothly.”
“They wanted to open the doors (to the Flight Deck Lounge) and I couldn’t allow that and they wanted to take the flags down. I didn’t only say no, I said hell no, you don’t take the flags off the wall,” he continued.
“I can’t believe any American would ask us to do that and I don’t know why he wanted them down or what he was going to put up instead,” Dry added.
In a followup interview with Fox News, Dry stood by his account, explaining that there was a large American flag and Texas flag hanging side-by-side on the wall in the main hall and two other American flags on stands flanking the main flags on the wall.
He asserted that he was approached by two members of O’Rourke’s campaign who asked if the flags could be taken down, and after telling one of them “Not just no, but hell no,” he told Fox News, “I was a little hot they’d ask, especially at a VFW hall.”
However, the O’Rourke campaign was quick to push back against the report. The campaign’s communications director, Chris Evans, told Fox News, “Our campaign absolutely did not request that any flags be removed or taken down from the walls. It is incorrect to say that we did.”
Evans added that O’Rourke has already campaigned in dozens of VFW halls across the state and that the campaign worked to “ensure that the flags are prominently and respectfully displayed.”
We are thus left with a “he said, he said” situation here, where one is forced to choose whether to believe the account of the veteran commander of a VFW hall — or the campaign spokesperson for a candidate who has already expressed a lack of respect toward the American flag.
This report will not help O’Rourke win over the majority of Texans who hold a deep respect for this nation and the flag that represents it, and could very well be the decisive moment that allows Cruz to pull ahead.