Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) strongly signaled that he is preparing to enter the Democratic 2020 presidential primary in a Vanity Fair interview released Wednesday.
“I want to be in it,” O’Rourke said in the April cover story. “Man, I’m just born to be in it, and want to do everything I humanly can for this country at this moment.”
O’Rourke experienced a rise in popularity, which he referred to as “abnormal,” following his narrow loss to Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote The Hill’s Morning Report – Trump’s public standing sags after Floyd protests GOP senators introduce resolution opposing calls to defund the police MORE (R) in the Texas Senate race in November.
He has since hedged about possible plans join a field of crowded Democratic contenders vying for a White House bid.
“You can probably tell that I want to run,” he told Vanity Fair. “I do. I think I’d be good at it.”
O’Rourke called the current political climate the “fight of our lives, not the fight-of-my-political life kind of crap.”
“But, like, this is the fight of our lives as Americans, and as humans, I’d argue,” the former congressman said.
He previously said that he and his wife, Amy, had not ruled any future campaigns.
The progressive star told Vanity Fair that he’s not “as concerned” anymore about a presidential campaign having a negative impact on his family.
His 10-year-old daughter, Molly, said she wants to live in the White House.
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“I only want you to run if you’re gonna win,” his 12-year-old son, Ulysses, said.
The three-term congressman acknowledged that his presidential run could face pushback in 2020.
“The government at all levels is overly represented by white men,” he said. “That’s part of the problem, and I’m a white man.”
O’Rourke vowed that surrounding himself with diverse advisers would be key.
“So if I were to run, I think it’s just so important that those who would comprise my team looked like this country. If I were to run, if I were to win, that my administration looks like this country. It’s the only way I know to meet that challenge,” O’Rourke said.
“But I totally understand people who will make a decision based on the fact that almost every single one of our presidents has been a white man, and they want something different for this country,” he continued. “And I think that’s a very legitimate basis upon which to make a decision. Especially in the fact that there are some really great candidates out there right now.”
If he entered the race, O’Rourke would face off against a diverse field of candidates, including Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE (D-Calif.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-N.J.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.).
Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE is also considering entering the field.
“If I bring something to this,” he told Vanity Fair, “I think it is my ability to listen to people, to help bring people together to do something that is thought to be impossible,” O’Rourke said.
Updated at 5:55 p.m.