Fact Check

Is This a Photo of Beto O'Rourke After He Peed His Pants?

As far as we know, urinary incontinence has not been a major issue during the U.S. 2020 Democratic presidential debates.

Published Sept. 18, 2019

Democratic presidential candidate former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke speaks during an Equity & Justice Roundtable in Los Angeles, California on September 17, 2019. This was Betos fourth trip to California as a presidential candidate. (Photo by Ronen Tivony/NurPhoto via Getty Images) (Getty Images)
Image courtesy of Getty Images
A photograph shows 2020 U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke in urine-stained pants.

In September 2019, an old photograph supposedly showing 2020 U.S. presidential Democratic candidate Beto O'Rourke in college wearing urine-stained pants started making its way around social media:

This picture was frequently accompanied by captions like "I'm Beto O'Rourke and I'm Here for Your Guns," a reference to the presidential hopeful's promise during the third Democratic presidential debate to "take (away) your AR-15."

This photograph, however, does not feature Beto O'Rourke but shows musician Alexander Giannascoli who, according to FactCheck.org, had "spilled beer on (his) pants."

This picture has been online since at least 2017 when it was posted to a subreddit dedicated to "(Sandy) Alex G," Giannascoli's stage name. The musician also shared a screen capture on Instagram of a pro-Trump Facebook page that was sharing this miscaptioned picture:

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Alex (@sandyalexg) on

This isn't the first time an image has been miscaptioned in an apparent attempt to embarrass or smear O'Rourke. In February 2019, a picture of a man at an LGBT pride parade with the words "vegan," "feminist," and "atheist" written on his body was shared as if it were the 2020 presidential hopeful.


Sullivan, Kate and Eric Bradner.   "Beto O'Rourke: 'Hell, Yes, We're Going to Take Your AR-15, your AK-47.'"     CNN.   13 September 2019.

Spencer, Saranac Hale.   "Another Bogus Beto Photo."     FactCheck.org.   18 September 2019.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.