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O’Rourke says he’s learned resilience from El Paso

Former congressman Beto O’Rourke gave an emotional response when asked about resilience and his greatest professional setback.

“Everything that I’ve learned about resilience, I’ve learned from my hometown of El Paso, Texas,” O’Rourke said, referring to a mass shooting at a Walmart last month that killed 22 people. “The very thing that drew that killer to us is the very thing that helps us set the example for the rest of this country. We don’t see our differences as disqualifying or dangerous: We see them as foundational to our success, to our strength and to our security and to our safety.”

O’Rourke said he had just the day before visited the head coach of the El Paso Fusion, a youth soccer team for 10- and 11-year-old girls. That coach, Luis Calvillo, had been shot multiple times, but was still trying to coach the soccer team from his hospital bed.

Another coach on the team was fighting for his life as well. It was those two men and their wives who exemplified resilience, O’Rourke said.

“When we end this scourge of gun violence in this country, when we finally confront the racism that exists in America, when we are defined not by our fears, but instead by our aspirations and our ambitions, it will be in large part, I think, thanks to the example that El Paso has set,” O’Rourke concluded.

Third Democratic debate: Analysis and fact-checking

Ten Democratic candidates will be on stage Thursday night for the third debate of the presidential primary race. The previous two debates have been held over two nights, but the Democratic National Committee tightened the donor and polling requirements for participation, decreasing the field.

The debate is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. Eastern and last three hours. It’s being held in Houston and will be aired on ABC.

On stage will be former vice president Joe Biden; Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.); Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.); Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.); South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg; former congressman Beto O’Rourke; Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.); businessman Andrew Yang; former HUD secretary Julián Castro; and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).