Young people interested in public office should "go out and have a career" before they enter politics, Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) said at an Axios virtual event on "Gen Z and the future of politics" on Tuesday.

What they're saying: "The reason I've been able to be effective is that I've had a decade in national security, cyber security. So, I was able to take that experience and bring it to Congress, and that's why a lot of my legislation that I've passed has been on national security," Hurd told Axios' Margaret Talev.

  • "I've been able to be even more effective in a shorter period of time than most — and by the way, my legislative record is better than a lot of people that served for 30 years."
  • "It's because I had an expertise and I brought that to Congress," Hurd added.

The big picture: Hurd is a former CIA officer who announced in 2019 that he will not seek re-election, saying he intends to move forward in his career to "solve problems at the nexus between technology and national security" in the private sector. Some have speculated that he could be a 2024 Republican presidential candidate.

  • Hurd, the only black Republican in the House, said he's not worried about the future of the U.S. because he has seen "young kids that care more about things."
  • "When I was in high school, I was more interested just playing basketball, just running the streets with my buddies. But some of the kids I met are trying to have an impact on their community right now while they're in school, so that's exciting to me."

What to watch: Hurd, a moderate Republican who has at times been critical of President Trump, would not say who he will vote for in November, saying he's "disappointed in both choices." He stressed that he wants to "make sure we have two strong parties" that can work together to solve the country's problems.

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Updated Aug 18, 2020 - Axios Events

Watch: Gen Z and the future of politics

DNC week: On Tuesday August 18, Axios politics and White House editor Margaret Talev hosted a conversation on how Gen Z is engaging with politics, featuring Beto O'Rourke, Rep. Will Hurd and 2018 Texas Boys State participant René Otero.

René Otero spoke about his experience in Texas Boys State and views on the current state of politics and the potential Gen Z turnout for the 2020 election.

  • On the influence politicians' conduct has on the public: “It is through our current politicians that we learn our conduct [and] the way politics should function…The individual politician has the responsibility to be a beacon of decency and a delegate to the people.”
  • On Gen Z turnout for the fall election: "I don't think that this election is going to have the turnout that we expect it does if we don't make the active effort to ensure that those in isolated communities can vote."

Rep. Will Hurd discussed his path to public office and highlighted how his professional career has impacted the type of legislation he's helped to write and sponsor.

  • His advice to members of Gen Z: "Being elected office should be something you should aspire to...But the other piece of advice I would give young folks is to go out and have a career before you get into politics."
  • On bipartisanship: "It's not easy trying to to to show a middle way. But it's doable. And in the end, people care about results. And that's what I found. That's why people are frustrated right now — because they're not seeing it."

Beto O'Rourke spoke about Texas' essential role in the upcoming election and how young people lead the way on essential social issues.

  • How Texas has the potential to impact the fall election: "I strongly believe that if Texas [awards its Electoral College votes to the Democratic nominee] the impact on American politics will be seismic. It will once and for all end the Trump presidency and Trump-ism in America."
  • On the power of young people in politics: "Young voter turnout was up 500% in early voting in Texas over the last midterm election. You name an issue, whether it is reproductive choice, climate change, access to health care, fighting back against this pandemic — young people are on the front lines, forcing the conversations and the necessary change that needs to follow."

Axios co-founder and CEO Jim VandeHei hosted a View from the Top segment with
Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss, the filmmakers of the documentary Boys State, who discussed the filmmaking process and what they learned about politics and the experience of boyhood in America.

  • "One moment where...our heroic character, is asked by a young man: "What's the purpose of a politician?" And he says: "To serve others and not yourself." It's a very simple answer, but it's very profound to and something we think we can all remind ourselves of...There is a desire, even in our hyper-polarized country, to work together to find common ground."

Thank you Apple Original Films & A24 for sponsoring this event.

Beto O'Rourke: Biden winning Texas would "end Trumpism in America"

Joe Biden defeating President Trump in Texas would be a "seismic" event that would "once and for all end the Trump presidency and Trumpism in America," former presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke predicted at an Axios digital event on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Recent polls indicate that Trump and Biden are currently in a dead heat in the state, traditionally a Republican stronghold, suggesting that Texas may be a presidential swing state come November. But O'Rourke warned that the Biden campaign is not doing enough to court Texas voters.

Biden: The next president should decide on Ginsburg’s replacement

Joe Biden. Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Joe Biden is calling for the winner of November's presidential election to select Ruth Bader Ginsburg's replacement on the Supreme Court.

What he's saying: "[L]et me be clear: The voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider," Biden said. "This was the position the Republican Senate took in 2016 when there were almost 10 months to go before the election. That's the position the United States Senate must take today, and the election's only 46 days off.