Beto O’Rourke announces 2020 Democratic presidential bid

Beto O'Rourke addresses supporters in El Paso on election night in November

Beto O'Rourke addresses supporters in El Paso on election night in November

An El Paso news station says former Representative Beto O'Rourke is running for president.

O'Rourke said he will hold a kick-off rally for his campaign on March 30 in El Paso, Texas. "That's part of the problem, and I'm a white man. This city is the best example of this country at its best". Ted Cruz past year, but his political ideology has been a topic of debate, with some describing him as "far-left" and others framing his campaign as "centrist". He shattered fundraising records, ending with an $80 million haul, and finished less than 3 percentage points behind Cruz - much closer than other Democrats had come in recent years against Republicans in a state that's always been a GOP stronghold.

Trump has repeatedly blasted the idea of an O'Rourke presidential try, calling him a "flake" and a "total lightweight" and joking, "I thought you were supposed to win before you run for president". Ted Cruz a year ago.

O'Rourke refused donations from outside political groups and shunned pollsters during his Senate campaign though he's not completely sworn off polling for a presidential run. While O'Rourke lost his Senate bid, the race vaulted him into the national spotlight.

Speculation on whether he would run for president has been discussed since his Senate loss to Ted Cruz in November.

The nominating process will test whether O'Rourke can translate that kind of support and star power to a different kind of campaign, one in which he'll be competing against other popular Democrats, not an opponent like Republican Sen. "I don't know where I am on a [political] spectrum, and I nearly could care less", he said at a recent stop in Wisconsin.

Klobuchar was not the only 2020 candidate to welcome O'Rourke on Thursday. O'Rourke accused Trump of stoking "false fear" about immigrants.

His decision jolts an early election season already stuffed with contenders, adding to the mix a relentless campaigner with a small-dollar fund-raising army, the performative instincts of a former punk rocker and a pro-immigrant vision to counteract President Trump's. "It's probably not the most professional thing you've ever heard about this, but I just feel it".

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