Beto O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman whose Senate nomination in 2018 against Ted Cruz (R-Texas) highlighted his national profile, launched his 2020 presidential campaign.
“The only way for us to live up to the promise of America is to give our all and to give it to all of us,” he said on a video early Thursday.
“This is a defining moment of truth for this country and for every single one of us,” he added, referring to medical care, immigration, justice reform and climate change.
O’Rourke, who is 46 years old, brought about a lot of interest inside and outside the US in the November legislative elections when he tried to take Republican Senator Ted Cruz seat in the Upper House.
Although the Democrat was defeated, the small distance between them (50.9% to 48.3%) and the huge popularity he achieved during the campaign, immediately put O’Rourke among the favorites to win the White House nomination.
In fact, O’Rourke, seemed presidential before the Senate elections, although during the campaign he denied that he was going to launch.
Since then, the Democrat has left Texas and visited several states to test his campaign and this weekend he plans to travel to the decisive Iowa, which is the first state to hold primaries in each cycle. 2020 elections are scheduled for February 3rd.
In January he told the “Politico” that a 2020 decision could be “potentially” ready in a few months. But in an interview with Oprah Winfrey in February, he said he planned to make a decision by the end of the month.
Meanwhile, the supporters gathered around the possibility of an O’Rourke presidential campaign which led to several movements to recruit the former congressman in the 2020 contest.
Draft Beto, set out to raise $ 1 million for O’Rourke and even tried to put together email lists that could be passed to the Texas Democrat in case he launched a campaign in the White House.
“It’s telling that the Democrats´ biggest star is someone whose biggest accomplishment is losing,” Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Ahrens declared early on Thursday. “Beto O’Rourke failed to do anything done in Congress and with extreme policies like government-run health care and tearing down border barriers, his 2020 bid won´t be successful either.”
A few weeks ago, O’Rourke came back to the news by counterprogramming a US President Donald Trump rally in El Paso, the city of the Democrat where the president traveled to defend the presumed virtues of the Mexican border wall.
In primary elections polls, O’Rourke is in sixth place and averages 5.3%, according to RealClear Politics.
These polls are led by the former vice president Joe Biden – who has not yet announced whether he will present himself – with 29% on average, followed by Senators Bernie Sanders (22%), Kamala Harris (11.3%), Elizabeth Warren (7%) and Cory Booker (5.8%).
In addition to Sanders, Harris, Warren and Booker, also Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Senator Amy Klobuchar and the former Secretary of Housing and former Mayor of San Antonio (Texas), Julián Castro, have already announced their participation in the primaries.
Translated by: Jose Espinoza