O'Rourke planning road trip outside of Texas as he considers 2020 bid: report
September 12, 2020
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) is planning a road trip outside his home state of Texas as he weighs whether to run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, according to The Wall Street Journal.
O’Rourke is calling on his aides to plan for him a solo trip that’ll begin in El Paso, which he represented in Congress for six years, and include stops outside of the Lone Star State to places such as community colleges, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the plans.
But he’s steering clear of early primary and caucus states like Iowa, according to the Journal.
The former Democratic congressman plans to make the trip alone — though he may track his travels on social media, which he made a central part of his tech savvy Senate campaign.
O’Rourke, who lost a surprisingly narrow bid against 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-Texas) last November, has emerged as a top potential contender in 2020.
O’Rourke raised an eye-popping $80 million in his Senate race and generated a groundswell of attention both inside and outside of Texas.
During his Senate campaign, he poured cold water on a presidential campaign. But after the 2018 November midterms, O’Rourke has not ruled out a run for the White House.
Meanwhile, the “Draft Beto” campaign, which was formed late last year by a group of Democratic activists, has been beefing up the organization with new staff hires in early primary and caucus states. The group has now added staffers in South Carolina and Nevada.
O’Rourke’s planned trip comes as other potential White House hopefuls plan blitzes in early nominating states, like Iowa and New Hampshire.
Sen. 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.), who recently announced she’s forming an exploratory committee, made a multi-stop trip in Iowa this past weekend in her first trip since running for president.
And former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro (D) is set to formalize his presidential campaign on Saturday and soon after travel to New Hampshire.
O’Rourke has started to slowly climb the early 2020 polls of the likely crowded Democratic field. But 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 and Sen. 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.) are both still the early leaders as they consider bids to take on President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE.
According to The New York Times, Biden will likely make a decision about 2020 within the next two weeks.