Beto O’Rourke is running for Ted Cruz’s seat in the Senate. His campaign says it did not ask a VFW to take down flags ahead of a campaign event. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez, File)
Members of Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s Senate campaign deny they ever asked for flags to be taken down for a campaign event at a Veterans of Foreign Wars hall in Texas.
O’Rourke, who’s trying to unseat Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, has been crisscrossing the state holding town halls. One of them was in August at a VFW post in Navasota, northwest of Houston.
The commander of the post, Carl Dry, said he rents out the hall for lots of different events. But Dry said before the O’Rourke town hall, a young woman with the campaign asked take take down venue flags.
Dry explained there are two large flags hanging on the wall in the main hall, one for the United States and one for the state of Texas. There are also two standing flags on either side. Mr. Dry said after he told the young woman "no," a young man then came up and asked the same question. This time he replied, "Not just no, but hell no." He added, "I was a little hot they’d ask, especially at a VFW hall."
But Chris Evans, communications director with the O’Rourke campaign, said that simply didn’t occur. Evans told Fox News: "Our campaign absolutely did not request that any flags be removed or taken down from the walls. It is incorrect to say that we did."
Evans added that the campaign has hosted dozens of town halls in VFW posts across the state, at which they "ensure that the flags are prominently and respectfully displayed."
The flag dust-up follows reports of O’Rourke’s defending athletes who kneel during the national anthem in protest of racial injustice and police violence, an issue the Cruz campaign has highlighted in its campaign events and online.
As for Dry, he said being head of a VFW post, he won’t weigh in on politics, but added "As far as I’m concerned, it’s a non-issue."