AP NEWS

Beto O’Rourke: ‘I can do a better job’

May 14, 2019

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, a 2020 presidential candidate, acknowledged Monday he can do a better job getting his message out to a national audience, after a splashy entrance into the race for the Democratic presidential nomination two months ago.

Mr. O’Rourke said he’s been on the road for eight weeks, traveled to more than 15 states, and held more than 150 town halls “running today the same way that we started.”

“But I recognize I can do a better job also of talking to a national audience beyond the town halls that we’re having,” he said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show.” “I hope that I’m continuing to do better over time, but we’ve been extraordinarily fortunate with the campaign that we’ve run so far.”

The Associated Press reported over the weekend that Mr. O’Rourke is planning to stage a “re-introduction” ahead of the first Democratic primary debates next month.

Mr. O’Rourke said that even amid a crowded Democratic field, there is an engaged and energized electorate and people interested in attending his town halls.

“I love that level of engagement, and it’s why we hold these town halls,” he said.

Mr. O’Rourke raised $9.4 million in the first 18 days of his campaign and attracted early attention after his closely watched loss to Sen. Ted Cruz in last year’s U.S. Senate race in Texas.

But he has settled back from the top of the pack in recent polling amid the entrance of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. into the race and interest in other candidates.

Mr. O’Rourke is also scheduled to appear on ABC’s “The View” on Tuesday and is slated to participate in a CNN town hall in Iowa next Tuesday, May 21.