While all of other Democrat presidential candidates chomped corn dogs and pork chops at the Iowa State Fair last weekend, Beto O’Rourke was busted on the side of the road 2020.
O’Rourke rolled up his sleeves to get to work fixing a flat on a gas-guzzling Toyota Tundra in a video posted to Instagram on Sunday. The 17-second clip shows O’Rourke in a crisp blue shirt and fresh completely clean pants as he wrestles with a lug wrench, before loosening the lug nuts with his fingers.
Beto changes a tire pic.twitter.com/i41vUH0OmE
— Behind 2020 (@Behind2020) August 11, 2019
The video then cuts to O’Rourke crouched alongside the truck, with the jack mounted under the running boards, as he begins to awkwardly crank on the handle.
“Well Cynthia, I’m changing the tire on this truck,” he said.
Context and details about the incident are unclear, though O’Rourke’s desperation to keep his presidential campaign alive seems obvious.
The social media video is only O’Rourke’s latest attempt to fix the spotlight on himself with everyday tasks, a strategy that’s he has continued to pursue despite declining poll numbers.
Ahead of the Democratic presidential debates in Detroit, O’Rourke visited a black family in Flint, where his wife cooked up some of her “amazing spaghetti.” O’Rourke spent the majority of the meal prep talking to the family’s patriarch about how life in Michigan has improved since Trump took office.
Beto is livestreaming his haircut pic.twitter.com/xAuBtC7BWe
— joe (@JoePerticone) May 15, 2019
Before that, he livestreamed his haircut at Chema’s in El Paso, TX, his hometown, where he was mistaken for the mayor. In January, he livestreamed his visit to the dentist while talking about the U.S.-Mexico border.
All the while, O’Rourke’s campaign has been losing steam.
The former Texas congressman enjoyed double-digit support from Democrat voters as recently as late March, but it’s been downhill from there. By June, O’Rourke regularly polled around 4 percent, and a New Hampshire poll in July showed not a single voter was interested in his campaign.
O’Rourke’s average support for August sits at just 2 percent, according to Real Clear Politics.
The failed Texas Senate candidate recently returned to El Paso to address a mass shooting in his hometown and attack President Trump as a racist, work he contends is much more important than campaigning for the Iowa caucuses at the fair over the weekend.
O’Rourke announced his campaign is currently “on hold” after 22 people died during the shooting at an El Paso Walmart last week, and he canceled his previously scheduled appearances in Iowa to leverage the situation at home to his political benefit.
He was scheduled to appear at the Des Moines Register Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair – a campaign staple that only three other invited candidates – Democrats Mike Gravel and Wayne Messam, and President Donald Trump – have not committed to.
Also canceled: A Des Moines rally and an appearance at a Native American event over the weekend. He also hasn’t confirmed his attendance at a candidate forum on gun safety in Des Moines Saturday organized by two gun control groups.
Instead, he “joined LULAC at The March for a United America,” and attended a benefit game for “victims of EP’s soccer community.” He’s also been plenty busy with media interviews about the shooting, describing the president as “dangerous to the future of America,” and absolutely a racist.
Like O’Rourke’s prior social media stunts, folks online were quick to point out the tire changing video isn’t exactly helping his struggling campaign.
Looks like he’s using a jack for the first time in his life…
— Daniel (@dlq84) August 11, 2019
“Looks like he’s using a jack for the first time in his life,” Daniel posted to Twitter.
At least he was sober this time
— C.D. Moore (@FredasBoss) August 12, 2019
“At least he was sober this time,” C.D. Moore joked, referring to O’Rourke’s criminal history of leaving the scene of a DUI crash.
Well if he can change a tire, he can definitely run a country.
— El Duderino (@lep3w) August 11, 2019
Others suggested the video is a fitting metaphor for his campaign.
Looks same as his campaign STRUGGLING
— norman laflash (@nikkisoxx72) August 12, 2019
“Looks the same as his campaign STRUGGLING,” Norman Laflash wrote.