SAN ANTONIO – What do you get when a Republican and Democrat take a cross-country road trip together? Apparently, a lot of Facebook Lives!
That’s exactly what happened when Texas Congressmen Will Hurd and Beto O’Rourke hopped into a rental car and headed north from San Antonio to Washington, D.C.
Hurd, a San Antonio Republican, and O’Rourke, an El Paso Democrat, were at an event in the Alamo City on Monday as a blizzard rolled toward the East Coast. Because of this, both men’s flights back to D.C. were canceled.
When the bipartisan pair realized this, they decided to rent a car together Tuesday morning and hold multiple Facebook Live town halls during their road trip, according to CBS News.
Through at least five Facebook town halls (so far!) both Hurd and O’Rourke answered all viewers’ questions, from personal ones, like their favorite foods, to the tougher questions, like immigration.
So far, the duo has stopped in Austin, where they visited a mutual friend at the Texas Tribune and dropped by the South by Southwest conference. They even got stuck in traffic outside of Waco and started asking viewers for drive-thru suggestions.
Their trip started around 7 a.m. on Tuesday, and the two are expected to arrive in Washington D.C. in time for House votes on Wednesday night, according to CBS News.
To watch all of the duo’s cross-country videos, you can visit O’Rourke’s Facebook Page.
Here are some of the things we've learned along the way, according to the Texas Tribune:
- Hurd's CIA handle: By far the coolest detail surfaced amid a conversation about preferred morning caffeine. Hurd prefers lattes, while O'Rourke takes his coffee black. And that was when Hurd revealed his handle while serving as an undercover CIA agent overseas: "Coffee Black."
- They know good Mexican food: The day began with breakfast at Mi Tierra, a downtown San Antonio Mexican food restaurant. It is also a favorite of Bill and Hillary Clinton.
- They're doppelgangers: Noting his 23rd district runs up into the outskirts of O'Rourke's hometown, Hurd said he is frequently mistaken for his Democratic friend. "I've been confused for Beto O'Rourke many times in El Paso and in Washington, D.C.," Hurd said.
- O'Rourke knows how to use the internet: O'Rourke mostly coordinates the livestream through his various accounts while Hurd fields media interviews, including a live phone interview with MSNBC. Last year, O'Rourke was the main point man who live streamed the House Democratic takeover of the chamber floor.
- They have stellar taste in music: Johnny Cash, John Denver and Willie Nelson made their road trip playlist.
- The force is with them: When asked from an online watcher, "Star Wars or Star Trek?" both men indicated their preference was with the Jedi. O'Rourke was careful, however, to show some geographic loyalty to his fellow El Pasoan, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry.
- Neither man is happy with U.S. Rep. Steve King: Over the weekend, the Iowa Republican tweeted critical comments about foreigners and their children. O'Rourke called for a rebuke from the U.S. House of Representatives if King does not apologize. Hurd described the contributions of immigrants and said tone of King's comments are "unhelpful" and "mean."
- They are both potential statewide candidates...at least someday: During a stop on the University of Texas campus to see NBC's Chuck Todd, the Meet the Press anchor asked both men when they might run statewide. Hurd demurred. "I think the connection is getting bad," Hurd joked. "I'm focused on the 23rd district about getting re-elected there, and doing the work of those people."