In an effort to propose a radically transparent administration, Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke on Monday pledged that, as president, he would sign an executive order compelling every member of his cabinet to hold a monthly public town-hall meeting.
“Those Cabinet secretaries for those agencies and departments will be before you, not a hand-picked audience, not a theatrical production but a real life town hall meeting, not just to answer questions but to be held accountable,” O’Rourke said at the “We the People” Summit in Washington, D.C.
His campaign said the proposal is in the tradition of the Texas Democrat's many town-hall events while he served in Congress as well as the more than 350 he held during his 2018 Senate run against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
“It is only by listening to those we are sworn to serve and represent—by gaining the full benefit of their ideas, their experiences, their creativity—that we can come together to confront and overcome the very real challenges before us,” he said in a written statement.
O’Rourke’s Senate candidacy was characterized by an extreme amount of intimacy, including live-streaming of his drives criss-crossing Texas, his haircut appointments, and visits to Whataburger.
Similar to O’Rourke’s proposal, during the 2008 presidential campaign, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) proposed question-and-answer sessions with Congress, akin to the British tradition of prime ministers taking questions from members of Parliament.