Beto O’Rourke: Term limits can help keep politicians from turning into a--holes
© Greg Nash

Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) says there’s at least one simple way to avoid being “an asshole” in Congress: term limits.

Actor Ethan Hawke chatted with O’Rourke — who’s making a bid to unseat Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTed Cruz, AOC have it right on banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists Ted Cruz, AOC have it right on banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists Overnight Health Care: Democratic bill would require insurance to cover OTC birth control | House Dems vote to overturn ban on fetal tissue research | New rule aims to expand health choices for small businesses MORE (R-Texas) — for an interview published Thursday in The Austin Chronicle.

Asked by the “Training Day” star how he stays humble in Washington, O’Rourke replied, “When [my wife] Amy and I were first talking about running for Congress in 2011-2012, we decided that we would do term limits, and not serve more than four years.”

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“In part it was, ‘I just don't want you to be an asshole; I haven't met somebody in this line of work who doesn't become one, that doesn't think that they are so important only they can do it,” O’Rourke told Hawke.

In 2015, O’Rourke was a founding co-chair of the Congressional Term Limits Caucus. 

He had introduced a bill in 2013 that would’ve allowed Congress to establish term limits, but it failed to advance. 

In May, he was one of several lawmakers to revive the push for legislation which would limit senators to two terms and representatives to six terms.

O’Rourke, a father of three, also told Hawke his kids help bring him “back down to earth.”

“It's like, hold on a second. They could care less about Ted Cruz or what we are doing in the campaign right now,” O’Rourke, 45, said.  

“It's hard to do this with little kids, but it also continuously grounds you and reminds you who you are doing it for," O'Rourke added. "I think we have a really good chance to win this. But if we don't, we're still going to do our best to help in whatever way we can, and we're still going to have each other."

O’Rourke is considered an underdog in deep-red Texas, but multiple polls have shown him within striking distance of Cruz.

A Texas Lyceum survey released early this month showed Cruz leading O’Rourke by just two points, within the poll’s margin of error.