GOP slammed over tweet mocking Beto O’Rourke’s Irish heritage

The Republican Party honored St. Patrick’s Day by sending a tweet mocking presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke’s Irish heritage.

The tweet from the GOP’s official Twitter account featured an image of O’Rourke’s mug shot from a 1998 drunk-driving arrest. The former Democratic representative was arrested at the age of 26 and given a DWI when he failed a breathalyzer test after losing control of his car and crashing into a truck on an interstate.

The mug shot in the tweet was photoshopped to include a cartoon leprechaun hat over his head and a placard across his chest that read, “PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY.” Along with the image, the GOP tweeted the message, “On this St. Paddy’s Day, a special message from noted Irishman Robert Francis O’Rourke.”

When O’Rourke challenged Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in the 2018 midterm election, Republicans often criticized O’Rourke for going by “Beto,” a childhood nickname that stuck, rather than Robert. 

The message spread quickly on Twitter, with many users, even fellow Republicans, expressing their disdain for the tweet. Michigan Rep. Justin Amash (R) tweeted the GOP should “do better” and “be better.” 

**ADVANCE FOR MONDAY, OCT 31** El Paso City Representatives Steve Ortega, left and Beto O’Rourke pose with a backdrop of Downtown El Paso, Texas, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2005. The two and three other colleagues, all political newcomers under 35, were elected this year to the El Paso city council. The group of young up-and-comers say they took on their public roles to make El Paso the kind of city it should be, the kind it has long struggled to become. (AP Photo/El Paso Times, Victor Calzada)

US Rep. Beto O’Rourke (R), D-TX, speaks during a meeting with One Campaign volunteers including Jeseus Navarrete (L) on February 26, 2013 in O’Rouke’s office in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGANWith the United States days away from billions of dollars in automatic spending cuts, anti-poverty campaigners fear that reductions in foreign aid could potentially lead to thousands of deaths. The world’s largest economy faces $85 billion in cuts virtually across the board starting on March 1, 2013 unless the White House and Congress reach a last-minute deal ahead of the self-imposed deadline known as the sequester. While the showdown has caused concern in numerous circles, activists are pushing hard to avoid a 5.3 percent cut in US development assistance which they fear could set back programs to feed the poor and prevent disease. ‘The sequester is an equal cut across the board, but equal cuts don’t have equal impact,’ said Tom Hart, US executive director of the One campaign, the anti-poverty group co-founded by U2 frontman Bono. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

US Rep. Beto O’Rourke , D-TX, meets with One campaign volunteers on February 26, 2013 in O’Rouke’s office in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. With the United States days away from billions of dollars in automatic spending cuts, anti-poverty campaigners fear that reductions in foreign aid could potentially lead to thousands of deaths. The world’s largest economy faces $85 billion in cuts virtually across the board starting on March 1, 2013 unless the White House and Congress reach a last-minute deal ahead of the self-imposed deadline known as the sequester. While the showdown has caused concern in numerous circles, activists are pushing hard to avoid a 5.3 percent cut in US development assistance which they fear could set back programs to feed the poor and prevent disease. ‘The sequester is an equal cut across the board, but equal cuts don’t have equal impact,’ said Tom Hart, US executive director of the One campaign, the anti-poverty group co-founded by U2 frontman Bono. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. citizen Edgar Falcon, second from right, and Maricruz Valtierra of Mexico, second from left, laugh while El Paso congressman Beto O’Rourke, right, and Judge Bill Moody, left, congratulate them after the couple was married at U.S.-Mexico border, Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013 in El Paso, Texas. Like many other couples made up of a US citizen and a foreigner, Falcon and Valtierra, who has been declared inadmissible after an immigration law violation, hope immigration reform will help them live together in the U.S. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca)

Congressman Beto O’Rourke, center, speaks at a new conference accompanied by Lillian D’Amico, left, mother of a deceased veteran, and Melinda Russel, a former Army chaplain, in El Paso, Texas, Wednesday, June. 4, 2014. A survey of hundreds of West Texas veterans conducted by O’Rourke’s office has found that on average they wait more than two months to see a Veterans Affairs mental health professional and even longer to see a physician. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca)

Democratic candidate for the US Senate Beto ORourke addresses his last public event in Austin before election night at the Pan American Neighborhood Park on November 4, 2018 in Austin, Texas. – One of the most expensive and closely watched Senate races is in Texas, where incumbent Republican Senator Ted Cruz is facing Democratic Representative Beto O’Rourke. O’Rourke, 46, whose given names are Robert Francis but who goes by Beto, is mounting a suprisingly strong challenge to the 47-year-old Cruz in the reliably Republican ‘Lone Star State.’ O’Rourke, a three-term congressman and former member of a punk band, is drawing enthusiastic support from many urban dwellers in Texas while Cruz does better in conservative rural areas.

Plucking the Senate seat from Cruz, who battled Donald Trump for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, would be a major victory for the Democratic Party. (Photo by SUZANNE CORDEIRO / AFP) (Photo credit should read SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, left, and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, right, take part in a debate for the Texas U.S. Senate, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018, in San Antonio. (Tom Reel/San Antonio Express-News via AP, Pool)

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Other users criticized the tweet.

O’Rourke responded to the tweet while campaigning in Milwaukee on Sunday. “People want to focus on the big picture, on our goals,” he told a group of reporters. “They want us to be defined not by this pettiness or the personal attacks we see … They want us to be defined by our ambitions and aspirations.” 

Despite criticism, the GOP’s official Twitter account followed up their initial tweet with another one bashing the former representative’s congressional record. 

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

Article source: https://www.aol.com/article/news/2019/03/18/gop-slammed-over-tweet-mocking-beto-orourkes-irish-heritage/23694745/

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