Former Rep. Beto O’RourkeBeto O’RourkeBiden will help close out Texas Democrats’ virtual convention: report O’Rourke on Texas reopening: ‘Dangerous, dumb and weak’ Parties gear up for battle over Texas state House MORE (D-Texas) defended his charitable giving on Tuesday after facing questions about his donations by a voter on the campaign trail.
After releasing 10 years’ worth of tax returns, O’Rourke was asked about his charitable giving rate — 0.3 percent — from a student at the University of Virginia, where the former congressman appeared on Tuesday, according to the Dallas Morning News.
O’Rourke paid $81,019 in income taxes in 2017, according to his returns, while reporting $1,166 in charitable donations.
“There are charities that we’ve donated to that we’ve recorded and itemized, others that we’ve donated to that we have not,” O’Rourke reportedly responded.
“I’ll tell you, I’m doing everything I can right now, spending this time with you, not with our kiddos, not back home in El Paso, because I want to sacrifice everything to make sure that we meet this moment of truth with everything we’ve got,” he continued.
O’Rourke and other Democratic candidates have publicized the release of their tax returns in recent days as President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE continues to resist pressure to release his own returns. The president bucked tradition in 2016 by refusing to release his returns, claiming to be under IRS audit.
O’Rourke faces a crowded field of Democratic contenders vying for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination, and trails other candidates such as Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE (D) in polls of early primary states.
O’Rourke was also found this week to have underpaid his taxes in 2013 and 2014 by more than $4,000 in those two years. A spokesman told The Wall Street Journal, which originally reported the discrepancy, that an amendment would be filed by the accounting firm that prepared O’Rourke and his wife’s taxes.
“After becoming aware of this error, the accounting firm that prepared the filings was immediately informed and will file an amendment as appropriate,” the spokesman said.
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