O’Rourke officially endorsed the idea of “abolish[ing] the Electoral College” while speaking at the We the People Membership Summitt on Monday, calling it “one of those bad compromises” made by the Founding Fathers when they wrote the Constitution.
He then took a sharp left turn in his speech and likened the Electoral College to the blight of slavery:
“This is one of those bad compromises we made at day one in this country. There are many others that we can think of, and they are all connected, including the value of some people based on the color of their skin. There is a legacy and a series of consequences that have persisted and remain with us to this day.”
Watch the video here:
— Fox & Friends First (@FoxFriendsFirst) April 3, 2019
The former Texas congressman’s comments solicited backlash on Twitter, with one user blasting the 2020 hopeful for attacking “the most democratic thing you can do.”
Its hilarious. The electoral college is the most democratic thing you can do. Evening the playing field for the few spite the many. Those Dems make no sense.
— Johnny Bravo (@JohnnyBravoWine) April 2, 2019
— Andy Guerra (@COAngelFan) April 3, 2019
PANDER ALERT: Beto O'Rourke endorses abolishing the electoral college. Like the other candidates, he's relying on Democrats to have NO CLUE that abolishing the electoral college requires the agreement of 67 Senators, 290 Reps, and 38 state legislatures. THAT'S. NOT. HAPPENING. pic.twitter.com/m8LDNWjwnT
— Eddie Zipperer (@EddieZipperer) April 2, 2019
This shows that O'Rourke, like AOC, has no idea what he's talking about when it comes to the electoral college or the 3/5 compromise! Ignorant!
Beto O'Rourke calls Electoral College 'one of those bad compromises' like slavery or the three-fifths compromise https://t.co/vroz3d1pgv
— Don't be an Arse! (@Jradams74) April 3, 2019
— Jenny Beth Martin (@jennybethm) April 2, 2019
That’s what happens when you’re better at pandering than at history.
— Darrell Deer (@darrelldeer) April 2, 2019
The Founding Father’s were brilliant men, Beto not so much.
— Mildred Garner (@cmgarner_garner) April 3, 2019
Oh, Francis… pic.twitter.com/IN1ZA2RDE9
— Mrs. (@JaxWaterfront) April 3, 2019
— Derrick Lindow (@DLindow13) April 3, 2019
The Electoral College — the abolishment of which has also been backed by some other Democratic presidential primary candidates, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) — was established by Article 2, Section 4 of the Constitution and is made up of 538 electors from the 50 states and Washington, D.C.
To win the presidency, 270 electoral votes are required.
According to the National Archives, the Electoral College was created “as a compromise between election of the President by a vote in Congress and election of the President by a popular vote of qualified citizens.”
The number of electors from each state is determined by the size of a state’s representation in Congress: one for each representative from the state and one for each senator. Washington, D.C., gets three electoral votes under the 23rd Amendment to the Constitution.
Each political party with a candidate in a presidential race chooses their group of electors in each state. The winning candidate’s electors from each state meet in their states in December to cast their ballots, which are tallied in January.