GOP strategist: O'Rourke should use NFL anthem issue to appeal to growing minority population in Texas

Republican strategist Shermichael Singleton on Tuesday said that Texas Senate hopeful Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeProgressive activist: Democratic nominee will 'need to ride a little bit to the center' Poll: Biden leads Sanders by 22 points Poll: Biden leads Sanders by 22 points MORE (D-Texas) should use NFL players protesting the national anthem as an issue to appeal to the state's growing minority population.

Singleton says the contentious issue of NFL players protesting racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem is something that could "resonate" for O'Rourke.

"Texas is a state that is becoming more and more diverse, and what I would like to look at is enthusiasm as far as the numbers are concerned with African-Americans and Hispanics," Singleton, who served as an adviser to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonMoulton confirms he'll miss first Democratic debate Moulton confirms he'll miss first Democratic debate Lawmakers battle over HUD protections for homeless transgender people MORE, said. 

"What I would also go further to say is, I think that, potentially, if I was O'Rourke, if I was advising him, I would go back to Hispanics, I would go back to African-Americans and say, 'Look here you go again, Republicans are attempting to delegitimize your concerns about where we are going as a society. Is this what you want going forward?' " Singleton continued. 

"If I was advising him I would try to make this an issue because I think this is something that could resonate with a lot of minority voters in Texas," he said. 

A video showing O'Rourke defending NFL players who kneel during the anthem went viral last week. 

O'Rourke said in the clip that he “can think of nothing more American” than the protests that he said are aimed at drawing attention to African-Americans who are "being killed at a frightening level right now, including by members of law enforcement, without accountability and without justice." 

His opponent, Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Health Care: Democrats attack after Trump revives talk of ObamaCare replacement | Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez efforts on birth control face major obstacles | CVS investing M to fight teen e-cig use Overnight Health Care: Democrats attack after Trump revives talk of ObamaCare replacement | Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez efforts on birth control face major obstacles | CVS investing M to fight teen e-cig use Biden says he will beat Trump in Texas, Georgia and South Carolina MORE (R-Texas), released an ad on Monday targeting O'Rourke for the comments.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump tweets ICE will begin removing 'millions' of undocumented migrants MORE has frequently attacked NFL players for kneeling during the national anthem, calling for owners to fire them and get them off the field. 

— Julia Manchester