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O’Rourke supports campaign to vote ‘uncommitted’ in Michigan Democratic primary

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) is supporting a campaign asking Democratic voters to vote “uncommitted” in Michigan’s presidential primary, if they are unhappy with the way President Biden has handled the Israel-Hamas war.

“I do think it makes sense for those who want to see this administration do more, or do a better job, to exert that political pressure and get the president’s attention and the attention of those on his campaign so that the United States does better,” O’Rourke said in an interview with the Michigan Advance.

O’Rourke, who unsuccessfully ran for president in 2020 and later endorsed Biden, is visiting Michigan on Saturday as part of his book tour, the outlet noted.

Abdullah Hammond, the mayor of Dearborn, Mich., recently wrote an op-ed in the New York Times arguing that his community has been “haunted” by the scenes from Gaza, where Israel has launched a counteroffensive against militant group Hamas after it killed more than 1,200 Israelis and took more than 200 hostage. Israel’s counteroffensive has resulted in nearly 30,000 deaths in Gaza, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. Hammond said he cannot support the genocide happening.

“It is for that reason that I will be checking the box for ‘uncommitted’ on my presidential primary ballot next Tuesday,” he wrote.

O’Rourke said he supports Hammond’s campaign, joining Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and former Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.), the Michigan Advance reported.

“I agree with the aims and the goals. We should have a ceasefire, there should be a return of each [and] every single one of those hostages [taken by Hamas], there should be an end to this war and there should be a negotiated solution to Palestinian statehood,” O’Rourke told the outlet. “All of that needs to happen, and I share the concern that the United States is not doing close to enough to bring those things to pass.”

Biden has faced mounting criticism from his own party since the war began. He has since changed his rhetoric and asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be more precise with airstrikes and find a way forward for a two-state solution.

In an election year, which will likely see Biden face off against former President Trump, O’Rourke said political pressure might be the key to action in the Middle East.

“I know that Joe Biden is a good man I know that he wants to do the right thing. Sometimes political pressure helps a president get there, and that may be what’s needed now,” he said.

Michigan’s Democratic primary begins Tuesday, Feb. 27.

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