The Battleground State Report: Leahy and Carmicheal Question the Origin of Robert Francis O’Rourke’s ‘Beto’ Nickname


On Friday’s Battleground State Report with Michael Patrick Leahy and Doug Kellett – a one-hour radio show from Star News Digital Media in the early stages of a national weekend syndication rollout – Leahy welcomed Crom Carmicheal as a special guest to the Report to discuss the battleground state of Florida and the impact of the Hispanic vote. They commented about how the percentage of Hispanics will increase the Cuban vote for Trump in 2020.

Segueing from the topic of the Hispanic vote opened up the host’s speculations on the validity of current Democratic Presidential candidate Robert Francis ‘Beto’ O’Rourke’s nickname and when the nickname originated. Nearing the end of the segment, Leahy and Carmicheal committed to finding out the truth through Woodberry Forest school’s yearbooks which is coincidentally, Carmicheal’s alma mater.

Leahy: We are talking about that sixth battleground state, Florida. I think you agree with me because it sort of leans Trump now because of the Hispanic vote there. And particularly because that state has been doing great under the new Governor there, the Trump supporter who’ the new Governor. It’s done great.

Carmicheal: Yeah. Florida is a battleground state no question. But I do think the number of Hispanic voters as a percentage of that block I think the percentage of the Hispanic voters that will vote for Trump will increase the Cuban vote in Florida and will go strongly for Trump. So I think he’ll win it but I think it will be tight.

Leahy: Yeah. And the Governor, by the way, Ron DeSantis who’s really done a spectacular job there from everything I can tell.

Carmichael: Yep.

Leahy: He was elected in 2018. His popularity is sky-high in Florida. So that’s a big thing. Let’s just talk about this for a moment. Here’s a state that’s not in our list of 17 battleground states. It has been listed as a safely Republican state and has been for I suppose since 1972. It has voted Republican in every presidential election I believe, but it’s changing. And that’s Texas. Let’s just talk about Texas for a moment.

So Texas is where Robert Francis Beto O’Rourke (Chuckles) is from. He’s erstwhile a candidate for President. He served as a representative from the El Paso area of Texas in Congress. In 2018 ran for the United States Senate against Cruz who’s a solid conservative. Beto O’Rourke, by the way, he has as much Hispanic blood as Michael Patrick Leahy does. (Laughter)

Carmichael: That Robert Francis does?

Leahy: It’s like if I went to Texas and I insisted that people call me Miguel, OK? Robert Francis O’Rourke, very Irish. And that’s his heritage, Irish. But he goes by Beto. Roberto. Beto’s his nickname.

Carmichael: Let me as you a question. Do you know when he got that nickname?

Leahy: I’m guessing.

Carmichael: OK.

Leahy: Just guessing. I’m guessing he didn’t become Beto until he decided to run for office in El Paso.

Carmichael: That would be an interesting thing to find out. It just really would be because maybe he’s had it since childhood. Maybe he has, I don’t know. Because I literally don’t know. But wouldn’t it be just kind of crass…

Leahy: A Democrat crass? (Laughter)

Carmichael: If he got that name eight years ago and he maintains he’s always been called Beto.

Leahy: So I have seen a story about that. And I’ll tell you the story about that. His father was also Robert O’Rourke. And the story goes, but I don’t know if this was a contemporaneous story alright? Because his father was apparently well off. Sent him to a private school, not in Texas, actually in Virginia private school. And the story goes.

Carmichael: I went to that school by the way.

Leahy: Really? In Virginia? Where’s there a monument to…

Carmichael: Yes. The school is named Woodberry Forest. And it’s in Orange, Virginia.

Leahy: That’s James Madison’s home.

Carmichael: All kinds of historical people in that general area.

Leahy: I’ve been to Montpelier which is James Madison’s home.

Carmicheal: James Madison or Thomas Jefferson?

Leahy: Thomas Jefferson is in Montecillo. But Montpelier is not too far away from that school I don’t think.

Carmichael: No. Not far at all. But anyway, when I went there which was well before Robert Francis went there, we had a very strong, and I think they still do, I’m just making a joke of this thing. But we had a very strong honor code. So telling the truth mattered a lot. (Leahy laughs) I don’t think that actually stuck with Robert Francis.

Leahy: If he goes by Beto O’Rourke in a way he’s being deceptive I think. He’s trying to pretend to be Hispanic.

Carmicheal: I will push back only to the extent of I want to know when people started calling him Beto. If they started calling him Beto when he was four years old…I have a friend of mine whos nickname was given to him before he was born and his name was Spook.

Leahy: Spook.

Carmicheal: And his real name is Harold but everybody calls him Spook. And the reason is that he was going to be born on October 31st. And the mother’s friends knew he was going to be born on October 31st and they would ask her how is the little spook doing while he was still inside.

Leahy: And he ended up not being born on Halloween right?

Carmicheal: No, he ended up being born on Halloween because it was on schedule. And so he was Spook from the day he was born.

Leahy: Oh my goodness.

Carmicheal: Now Beto, I want to know when he got that nickname.

Leahy: Here’s what we can do. Here’s what his campaign says.

Carmicheal: That doesn’t matter.

Leahy: I’m going to tell you what his campaign says. We can do some investigative research.

Carmicheal: Yes you can.

Leahy: Here’s the test. They say his father’s name was Robert O’Rourke as well. And so ‘growing up in El Paso they say, they called him Beto to distinguish him from his father.’ Now that’s a plausible story. Is it a true story? I have my doubts.

Carmicheal: Well, that’s what I want to find out. I’m going to give you a nickname, MP.

Leahy: Miguel? MP.

Carmicheal: MP. That way whenever you go to Great Britain you’re an MP. Michael Patrick. (Leahy chuckles) We need to find out what the true story is. And if it is what his campaign says it is then that nickname is legit. If it’s not…doesn’t make him Mexican or any part Mexican but it would be a legit nickname.

Leahy: So I know what we’re going to do. That high school’s called Woodberry Forest.

Carmicheal: Woodberry Forest. That’d be a good place to find out.

Listen to the full show:

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Tune in every Friday morning and listen to TheBattleground State Report with Michael Patrick Leahy and Doug Kellett.
Photo “Beto O’Rourke” by Gage Skidmore






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