The Washington Post determined on Tuesday that Democratic Rep. Robert O’Rourke gave a false statement when he claimed that he did not attempt to flee the scene after crashing his car while drunk in 1998.
“I did not try to leave the scene of the accident, though driving drunk, which I did, is a terrible mistake for which there is no excuse or justification or defense, and I will not try to provide one,” O’Rourke claimed during his debate against Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas on Friday.
Using contemporaneous records, including the official police reports, WaPo concluded that El Paso congressman’s claim earns four Pinocchios, equating to a false statement.
The Houston Chronicle published the reports on Aug. 30, which detailed the incident in question. O’Rourke lost control of his car while driving “at a high rate of speed” and collided with a truck, throwing his vehicle across the center median of the interstate.
The responding officer administered a breathalyzer test which reported a blood alcohol content of 0.136 and 0.134, almost twice the legal limit. Per the report, O’Rourke had “glossy eyes” and was “unable to be understood due to slurred speech”. (RELATED: Ted Cruz Forces Democratic Opponent To Repeatedly Claim He Supports Second Amendment — His Views On Gun Control Suggest Otherwise)
“The defendant/driver then attempted to leave the scene,” the responding officer reported at the time. “The reporter then turned on his overhead lights to warn oncoming traffic and try to get the defendant to stop.”
“O’Rourke could have dodged the question during the debate or he could have said his memory of the night is not clear,” Glenn Kessler, WaPo’s fact checker wrote. “Instead, he chose to dispute the factual record.”
O’Rourke’s office did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for a comment.
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