2020 Democratic presidential primary candidate Beto O’Rouke (D-Texas) claimed that living next to one’s workplace was a “luxury” reserved for the wealthy.
O’Rourke — who lost a Senate bid in Texas to Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) during the 2018 midterm elections — made the claim in a tweet published Monday, where he also claimed that it was a person’s “right” to live near their job.
“Living close to work shouldn’t be a luxury for the rich,” the former congressman wrote. “It’s a right for everyone.”
O’Rourke — whose father-in-law is worth a conservative estimate of $500 million, according to Forbes — also included a video where he spoke to a crowd of people in which he said that the wealthy would be “forced” to live next to the economically disadvantaged.
“Here’s a tough thing to talk about, though we must,” said the millionaire congressman to scattered applause. “Rich people are going to have to allow — or be forced to allow — lower-income people to live near them, which is what we fail to do in this country right now.”
He went on to claim that Americans with lower incomes were being “forc[ed]” to commute “one, two, three hours” both ways to get to multiple jobs that are “very often” minimum wage jobs.
“We force lower-income working Americans to drive one, two, three hours in either direction to get to their jobs, very often minimum wage jobs,” said O’Rourke. “They’re working two or three of them right now.”
O’Rourke also claimed that living next to their jobs would result in a better “quality of life” for lower-income people and that it would help Americans “reduce our impact on climate change and greenhouse emissions.”
The Texas Democrat is one of 20 Democrats currently running for the party’s presidential nomination and has backed controversial policy positions such as abortion up to the day before a full-term birth and a mandatory gun buyback program.