O'Rourke defends charitable donations: 'I'm doing everything I can right now'

O'Rourke defends charitable donations: 'I'm doing everything I can right now'
© Greg Nash

Former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke considering Texas governor bid: report O'Rourke clarifies remarks, leaves door open to gubernatorial bid O'Rourke says he's not planning on run for Texas governor MORE (D-Texas) defended his charitable giving on Tuesday after facing questions about his donations by a voter on the campaign trail.

After releasing 10 years' worth of tax returns, O'Rourke was asked about his charitable giving rate — 0.3 percent — from a student at the University of Virginia, where the former congressman appeared on Tuesday, according to the Dallas Morning News.

O'Rourke paid $81,019 in income taxes in 2017, according to his returns, while reporting $1,166 in charitable donations.


"There are charities that we've donated to that we've recorded and itemized, others that we've donated to that we have not," O'Rourke reportedly responded.

"I'll tell you, I'm doing everything I can right now, spending this time with you, not with our kiddos, not back home in El Paso, because I want to sacrifice everything to make sure that we meet this moment of truth with everything we've got," he continued.

O'Rourke and other Democratic candidates have publicized the release of their tax returns in recent days as President TrumpDonald TrumpMaria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' The Memo: The center strikes back Republicans eye Nashville crack-up to gain House seat MORE continues to resist pressure to release his own returns. The president bucked tradition in 2016 by refusing to release his returns, claiming to be under IRS audit.

O'Rourke faces a crowded field of Democratic contenders vying for the party's 2020 presidential nomination, and trails other candidates such as Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: The center strikes back Sanders against infrastructure deal with more gas taxes, electric vehicle fees Sunday shows - Voting rights, infrastructure in the spotlight MORE (I-Vt.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegHigh-speed rail getting last minute push in Congress Buttigieg: Bipartisan deal on infrastructure 'strongly preferred' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden ends infrastructure talks with key Republican | Colonial Pipeline CEO grilled over ransomware attack | Texas gov signs bills to improve power grid after winter storm MORE (D) in polls of early primary states.

O'Rourke was also found this week to have underpaid his taxes in 2013 and 2014 by more than $4,000 in those two years. A spokesman told The Wall Street Journal, which originally reported the discrepancy, that an amendment would be filed by the accounting firm that prepared O'Rourke and his wife's taxes.

"After becoming aware of this error, the accounting firm that prepared the filings was immediately informed and will file an amendment as appropriate,” the spokesman said.