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Beto O'Rourke questions whether constitutional principles 'still work' in today's world

The potential 2020 candidate also avoided policy specifics in WaPo interview

PAUL RATJE/AFP/Getty Images

Former congressman Beto O'Rourke is still doing a delicate balancing act on the proverbial fence on national issues, answering a host of direct questions quite evasively during a recent interview with The Washington Post.

Possibly the most notable bit of equivocating came when the potential 2020 hopeful was asked whether the United States could implement sweeping change while staying true to the principles on which the nation was founded:

"I'm hesitant to answer it because I really feel like it deserves its due, and I don't want to give you a—actually, just selfishly, I don't want a sound bite of it reported, but, yeah, I think that's the question of the moment: Does this still work?" O'Rourke said. "Can an empire like ours with military presence in over 170 countries around the globe, with trading relationships...and security agreements in every continent, can it still be managed by the same principles that were set down 230-plus years ago?"

O'Rourke doesn't yet know the answer, but he's ready to discuss it.

O'Rourke seemed very aware that his doubts about the relevance of the Constitution would be alarming to some readers. And his hesitance to take hard stances on anything was a theme throughout the interview.

For example, when he was asked about Trump's decision to withdraw from Syria:

"There may be a very good reason to do it. I don't necessarily understand—and I've been a member of Congress for six years," O'Rourke said. "We haven't had a meaningful discussion about these wars since 2003."

In addition to that non-answer, O'Rourke offered this on the problem of illegal immigration:

So what should be done to address visa overstays?
"I don't know," O'Rourke said, pausing in a lengthy interview.

O'Rourke has made a point to emphasize that most illegal immigrants in the U.S. are the result of visa overstays, not illegal border crossers. Still, he doesn't seem to have ideas on what to do about that. He just knows he opposes the border wall.

"That's a problem when you're like, 'It will be a wall,' or 'It will be this,' or 'We can only do it with this,'" O'Rourke said, explaining his seemingly vague stances on issues like immigration. "The genius is we can nonviolently resolve our differences, though I won't get to my version of perfect or I, working with you, will get to something better than what we have today...It's rare that someone's ever been able to impose their will unilaterally in this country. We don't want that."

The Washington Post noted that "O'Rourke played a negligible role in shaping immigration policy during his six years in Congress" even though he represented the border city of El Paso, Texas.

(H/T The Daily Wire)

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