Who knew that a Texan Democrat and Republican could survive a cross-country road trip, unscathed, in such close quarters as the insides of the Chevy Impala? But that’s exactly what happened with Reps. Beto O'Rourke (D-El Paso) and Will Hurd (R-San Antonio).
The two congressmen were visiting a veterans’ service center in San Antonio over the weekend when they learned their flight back to Washington, D.C., had been canceled due to a snowstorm. So in a moment of brilliance, O’ Rourke proposed both politicians rent a car and drive all the way to the Capitol. But what’s more, they would do so while live-streaming the whole journey on Facebook, which captured the attention of the entire nation.
As both the men were from opposing parties, the conversation did center on the GOP’s infamous health care reforms, the Mexico-U.S. border wall, foreign policy, criminal justice reforms and, of course, counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway’s conspiracy theory that microwaves can spy on you.
However, their journey wasn’t all about business. On the way, they stopped multiple times for lunch and coffee. They also featured in their own version of “Carpool Karaoke” where the duo sang “On the Road Again” by Willie Nelson and “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash.
The men also discussed the virtues of cake vs. pie and salsa verde or salsa roja and ate a whole lot of doughnuts along the way. And, of course, criticized each other’s driving skills.
Dozens of politicians from both parties called on speaker phone to chat with the Texans, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The two congressmen asked everyone who called who they would choose from the opposing party to go on a cross-country drive with and many were game.
I'm game if Ted is. https://t.co/gLNYwJe2Nw— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) March 15, 2017
Even Mark Zuckerberg noticed the viral video and dropped his comment on Faceook:
“This is a great use of Facebook Live for civic engagement,” he commented. “Good luck making it to D.C. on time!"
When they arrived on the grounds of the Capitol, they were welcomed by reporters, fans and a man waving a huge Texas flag.
"I learned something — this is a guy I can work with," O'Rourke told Fox 5 DC as they started to go into the Capitol. "It just happens that we're on opposite sides of the aisle."
"The fact that people enjoyed it and the fact that people really changed the kind of language they were using while they were commenting at us was pretty cool," Hurd said.
The two also got commendations from viewers.