On Thursday, Beto O’Rourke stopped the late night texts with America and made it official by announcing that he’s running for president in 2020 and joining an overly crowded field of Democrats all wanting to be the one to take down the evil Trump empire.
“This is a defining moment of truth for this country and for every single one of us,” the 46-year-old former congressman from Texas said in a video announcing his candidacy, CNN reports. “The challenges that we face right now, the interconnected crises in our economy, our democracy and our climate have never been greater.
“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.
O’Rourke, who will be taking his talents on a three-day trek through through eastern Iowa on Thursday, said he will wait to have his official campaign kick-off celebration in El, Paso, Texas, on March 30.
Despite losing a closely contested race to Senate incumbent Ted Cruz—voted Republican most like to body out Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) for Congress member most likely to hold Trump’s package—O’Rourke was a part of a young group of politicians who gained stardom during their run for office. O’ Rourke broke fundraising records and had several viral moments including his explanation of support for kneeling NFL players and his heartfelt moment on what he’d do for black women if elected. He’s also the subject of an HBO documentary which will give him a leg up on the more than a dozen Democrats elbowing their way to win the party’s nomination.
In his announcement video, O’Rourke said he would run a “positive campaign that seeks to bring out the very best from every single one of us, that seeks to unite a very divided country.”
“We saw the power of this in Texas, where people allowed no difference, however great or however small, to stand between them and divide us,” he said.
In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, O’Rourke said the 2020 campaign has “got to be about the big things that we hope to achieve and enact and do for one another.”
He said that “the most pressing, the most urgent, the most existential challenge of them all is climate. And the scientists, beyond a shadow of a doubt, know that we have at a maximum 12 years in order to enact significant change to meet that threat and reduce the consequences of the decisions that we made in the past — the consequences that our kids and the generations that follow will bear.”
O’Rourke also began to lay out what he saw as his top priorities on the eve of his entrance into the 2020 race.
“Rewriting and signing into law immigration policies that reflect who we are and our values and what we know to be true, grounded in the facts,” he said. “Making sure that everybody can see a doctor and live to their full potential. Listening to and then raising up rural communities that for so long have been left behind. Making sure people that are looking for work are able to find it — that they’re equipped with the skills and training and education necessary to maximize their potential. But also investing in people that are already working. ... There are so many people in this country working two and three jobs and struggling to make ends meet.”
“The destination cannot be Election Night, November 2020. The destination really has to be the realization of everything this country is capable of doing,” O’Rourke said.
So O’Rourke adds his name to a group of big names including Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders aka America’s favorite disheveled tax preparer; California Senator Kamala “She’s got some ‘splaning to do” Harris; and Cory “T-Bone” Booker, not to mention former vice-president Joe Biden and another congressional race star Stacey Abrams also considering a run for the White House.
O’Rourke is going to have a tough fight ahead of him as he’s a white man in a country that’s honestly tired of white men running the White House. A CNN guest just called O’Rourke a human Urban Outfitters t-shirt, which is both hilarious and true. O’Rourke pushes an idealistic version of what America could be but he’s going to have to prove that he’s got the policy chops to back that up and that he’s not just a dreamer whose ideas are not founded in concrete plans.
Also, he may want to come out early and announce that if elected he will make Oprah his VP.