In the months following his unsuccessful bid to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Beto O’Rourke has kept a low profile. Cruz barely squeaked past O’Rourke in the 2018 midterm elections, it should be noted.
And now in a Tuesday interview with Oprah Winfrey O’Rourke said he is definitely considering running for president in the 2020 election, Reuters reports. The interview took place on her show “Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations from Times Square,” in New York.
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O’Rourke told her he’d make a final decision about it before the end of the month.
Oprah: "What’s it gonna take? What’s it gonna take for you to say yes?"
Beto: "You know, for me, it will really be family."
Oprah: "Where's Amy?" (scans crowd for Beto's wife)
— Matt Flegenheimer (@mattfleg) February 5, 2019
The interview is set to air February 16 on Oprah’s cable TV network, OWN.
O’Rourke’s campaign against Cruz set fundraising records and added heat to speculation about his potential as a presidential candidate.
And his strong performance in Texas, a state that leans largely Republican, during the midterm elections has spurred at least two “Draft Beto” movements led by Democratic consultants and scores of his supporters, who are inspired by O’Rourke’s ebullient can-do attitude.
Earlier, Nate Lerner, co-founder of DraftBeto.org said he wasn’t expecting O’Rourke to make an announcement Tuesday:
“What we’re hoping for is a bit more of a sign of where he’s at,” Lerner said.
While O’Rourke has been largely quiet after his narrow loss to Cruz if he announces his decision to run, he’ll join the ranks of fellow Democrats Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Kamala Harris (Calif.), Cory Booker (N.J.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.). Each is already visiting the states where the earliest presidential nominating contests begin next year.
Lerner, who also runs Build the Wave, a Democratic political action committee that mobilizes volunteers via text messaging, said he realizes some O’Rourke supporters are growing anxious for an announcement.
“A year from now, nobody is going to care or remember when Beto O’Rourke announced,” he said. “The momentum you have in February 2019 is going to matter a lot less than the momentum you have in February 2020. Beto O’Rourke is a momentum machine.”
O’Rourke’s association with Winfrey will provide him with even more momentum if he decides to run, MarketWatch notes. Her endorsement of Barack Obama was crucial to his 2008 campaign. Winfrey also campaigned for Democrat Stacey Abrams who very narrowly lost the race for Governor in Georgia.
During his campaign against Cruz, O’Rourke political donations from outside political groups, political consultants and pollsters and came very close to unseating Cruz. And his many supporters note this is proof that not following the rest of the 2020 pack can prove to be fruitful.
This video by The Guardian provides a look into the man who made Ted Cruz nervous.
Featured image by Guardian News via YouTube video