Trump calls out O'Rourke 'hand movement'

Blanche Robertson
March 16, 2019

Democrat Beto O'Rourke has announced he is running for USA president, joining a crowded field of candidates vying to challenge Donald Trump in 2020. He also ran a campaign staffed by volunteers instead of political professionals.

As the New York Times put it, "in a primary so far defined by big-ticket policy ideas, like the economic agendas of Senators Bernie Sanders [I-Vt.] and Elizabeth Warren [D-Mass.], Mr. O'Rourke enters without a signature proposal that might serve as the ideological anchor of his bid".

"I think that competition is good in our party", the senator from Minnesota said, telling Harlow that former President Barack Obama has been telling 2020 candidates that he believes the more the merrier in the nomination fight.

O'Rourke, 47, served three terms in Congress representing a region of West Texas along the US border with Mexico.

Klobuchar said she does not believe O'Rourke tightens her lane - "I don't think there's lanes yet" - and dodged a question about his ability to raise money after he raised and spent $80 million in his Texas Senate race.

Trump and his Republican allies have tried to demonize the current presidential field as socialists. Others argue a fresh face is needed to energize the party's increasingly left-leaning base.

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O'Rourke, whose given name is Robert Francis, as a child acquired his nickname "Beto", a common shortening of "Roberto" for Spanish speakers.

O'Rourke's position on Medicare for All has been similarly unclear. After studying at Columbia University and working briefly in NY, he returned to his hometown and started a software company. They've also met with San Antonio Rep. Joaquin Castro, who has not yet said whether he'll run.

In 2005, he was elected to El Paso's city council. He was re-elected twice.

When asked about O'Rourke's entrance into the presidential race this morning, President Trump referred to O'Rourke's energetic hand movements in his announcement video and asked, "Is he insane or is that just the way he acts?"

"His single-minded devotion to [rowing] crew-and to the purifying energy of punk rock-foreshadowed his future political self".

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