Beto O’Rourke officially enters 2020 race for president
Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke announced Thursday he is joining the race for president, calling this America’s “defining moment” to push for change.
In a video announcement on Twitter, Mr. O’Rourke said America’s current “moment of peril” can produce “the greatest moment of promise.”
“This is a defining moment of truth for this country and for every single one of us. The challenges that we face right now the interconnected crises in our economy, our democracy and our climate have never been greater,” he said in the video. “And they will either consume us, or they will afford us the greatest opportunity to unleash the genius of the United States of America.”
He added: “We put our labels and our differences aside to come together for the only thing that matters: the future of this country and the generations that follow us.”
Mr. O’Rourke is starting a three-day trip throughout eastern Iowa Thursday and announced that he would hold a rally to kick off his campaign on March 30th in El Paso, Texas.
The former Texas representative lost his bid for Senate in 2018 against Sen. Ted Cruz, despite breaking fundraising records with an $80 million haul. While he finished three percentage points behind Mr. Cruz, much closer than other Texas Democrats, tackling a presidential bid will be a whole different challenge for the 46-year-old nominee.
In a Vanity Fair cover interview, Mr. O’Rourke said he was “born to be in” the race for president, adding that he feels the same call for the office he did during the Texas Senate race.
“Almost no one thought there was a path in Texas, and I just knew it. I just felt it. I knew it was there,” he said, adding, “That’s how I feel about this ... It’s probably not the most professional thing you’ve ever heard about this, but I just feel it.”
Sen. Sherrod Brown, when asked about Mr. O’Rourke’s candidacy on CNN, gave a lukewarm response.
“I have no reaction. One more, one more, one more gets in the race.”
More than a dozen Democrats have already tossed their hats into the ring for the nomination. Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden is weighing whether to jump in.
In a recent Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom poll on Iowans, five percent said they would vote for Mr. O’Rourke for president. He’s far behind the current leader Mr. Biden, who despite not having entered the race garnered 27 percent support.