It appears that the first Democrat presidential candidate debate was brutal for Beto O'Rourke according to CNN's Van Jones. He was joined in this harsh assessment of O'Rourke by CNN's senior political commentator David Axelrod as well as former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe who were less than impressed by the way O'Rourke handled being challenged by Julian Castro.
Their analysis of what McAuliffe described as Beto being "sliced and diced" took place on Wednesday's Anderson Cooper 360 following the debate:
Unfortunately, I think that that may have been Beto’s last hurrah. I think he’s done. Because there was such hope and expectation about him, and tonight was really the night to remind people why he was this incredible rising star, and on the issue he should have been at least fluent on, he got his butt kicked, hard. Hard! Hard!
McAuliffe joined Jones in seemingly pronouncing O'Rourke's candidacy DOA:
Every Democrat is looking for someone who can beat Donald Trump and Castro went at him, sliced and diced him up and people are thinking to themselves, think of Donald Trump on this debate stage. They want someone who's going to be able to stand up, and be tough, and take it right back. And that was I think a really devastating thing tonight for Beto because it looked like he was knocked back on his heels.
After expressing a bit of sympathy for O'Rourke, Axelrod followed up by agreeing that O'Rourke performed poorly at the debate:
Even though he's had these stumbles, I've been reluctant to write him off, because there is a humanity to the guy. And on the campaign trail, as he proved in Texas, he does connect with people. But there are a lot of elements to this running for president thing and one of them is handling moments like that and more than anything he needed to have a really great night tonight to jumpstart what had been a campaign that stumbled and instead he had a setback so that's very very tough.
When even O'Rourke's fellow liberals at the "Fact Apples" network think he got his "butt kicked hard," that doesn't bode well for his campaign.