SAN ANTONIO - The bipartisan road trip making headlines all across the country started right here in the Alamo City.
Two congressmen from Texas, Republican Will Hurd and Democrat Beto O’Rourke decided to rent a car to get back to Washington D.C. after the winter storm canceled their flights.
Their trip started in San Antonio taking them on a 1,600-mile journey north while live streaming the entire trip.
Their ‘Bipartisan Road Trip’ became a sort of town hall on wheels.
Representatives Hurd and O'Rourke spoke exclusively with KENS 5 on their trip and what we can expect for the pair’s future.
O’Rourke said he and Hurd had worked together before and while they agree on some stances, the trip gave them an opportunity to talk about certain issues the two might not completely agree on.
“That requires a couple of hours in the car together and we got a lot more than that. We got 31 hours of driving time together,” O’Rourke said. “And beyond the policy issues, I got to know Will as a person. So I think I have a partner going forward to work on some of these things with.”
Hurd said one of the most unfortunate things that happen in Washington is not spending enough time with colleagues from the other side of the aisle.
“This was a good example of doing that,” Hurd said. “Learning and really understanding the other person’s motivation and what makes them tick and why they’re doing the things they’re doing.”
The two have known each other for two years and worked on many issues together. However, before the trip, they didn’t have more than a 20-minute conversation with each other.
“I didn’t know he loved donuts or that he likes to have his seat really close to the wheel when he drives, Hurd said. “It was great seeing the little things. Like when he was talking to his wife how his face would light up.”
Hurd also said he learned that O’Rourke is disciplined, especially when it comes to travel.
“If you ever want to get from point A to point B over a long distance, Beto O’Rourke is your guy,” Hurd said.
O’Rourke gave three reasons why he believed people found their bipartisan road trip interesting.
He said first, having a set deadline. Having to figure out how they’re going to get from San Antonio to Washington D.C. by 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday. It adds a little excitement of ‘are they going to make it?’
Secondly, the two Congressmen didn’t know each other that well prior to the cross-country trip. So people were able to watch their friendship blossom practically from the start.
And lastly, the pair thought ‘are people going to want to join us for the ride’ while interacting with them throughout the trip. With Facebook Live, the two were able to answer questions from Texans, and honestly, others across the country who tuned in.
“All those things seemed to work out and I discovered that Will’s a great guy who seems some things differently than I do but I gained some insight into his perspective,” O’Rourke said. “I’m comforted by the fact that he wants to get to the same place [on multiple issues].”
When asked what’s next for the pair, they said after they voted Wednesday night the two dropped the rental off and took a taxi back to where they were staying.
Thursday morning they plan on grabbing breakfast together, discuss some of their road trip conversations and try to write a bill or two together.
Hopefully, we will get another ‘Bipartisan Road Trip’ very soon.