Democrat Beto O'Rourke has told a Texas TV station that he's running for president in 2020.
Hours after O'Rourke announced he would run for president, the former Democratic congressman's website became a focal point for many of his critics. He passed just three bills while in Congress, and a lack of governing experience could hurt, but President Donald Trump's rise suggests that the US electorate might welcome an outspoken outsider.
Trump took questions from the Oval Office during his meeting with Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar, and he was asked for his thoughts on O'Rourke's campaign announcement.
"I'm just born to do this", O'Rourke told the magazine.
Before the Senate race, O'Rourke served as a US congressman for El Paso county since 2013.
"This is a defining moment of truth for this country and for every single one of us", said the 46-year-old Congressman.
O'Rourke was first elected to Congress in 2012, upsetting eight-term Rep. Silvestre Reyes in the Democratic primary. And, as a white man, he's entering a field that has been celebrated for its diverse roster of women and people and color. He joins the likes of Sens.
In the article, O'Rourke did not outright say he is running, be he said things like "I want to run".More news: Tesla says it'll keep more stores open and raise vehicle prices
O'Rourke's presidential launch Thursday was a well-crafted spectacle that reaffirmed his star power and signaled that he'll be a force in what could be a long, grinding primary.
O'Rourke has three days of campaign events in Iowa planned and has promised to travel the country listening to would-be voters. Beyonce, a Houston native, endorsed O'Rourke. His trademark black-and-white "Beto for Senate" signs became hipster must-haves a year ago in some parts of Seattle, Los Angeles and Brooklyn.
Throughout that race, O'Rourke had insisted he would not run for president - but that stance shifted after he lost. For example, Trump branded Senator Cruz as "Lyin' Ted", Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) as "Little Marco", former Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) as "low energy", twice-failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as "Crooked Hillary", Senator Elizabeth Warren as "Pocahontas", and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) as "Crazy Bernie".
O'Rourke visited all 254 of Texas' counties while running for Senate.
O'Rourke also began to lay out what he saw as his top priorities on the eve of his entrance into the 2020 race. Democratic operatives in states with early presidential primaries, including SC and Nevada, formed Draft Beto groups that spent months fundraising and building campaign infrastructure until their candidate was ready.
O'Rourke refused to hire pollsters for his Senate campaign and only employed a digital consulting firm. He was a heavy underdog when he challenged Cruz, a Republican, in mostly conservative Texas, but he quickly demonstrated an ability to draw capacity crowds and raise money from voters nationwide.
In his Senate race against Cruz, O'Rourke often blurred their policy differences on issues like trade by saying the two agreed.