O'Rourke Not Ruling Out 2020 Presidential Run

Beto O'Rourke / Getty
November 26, 2018

Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D., Texas), who became a rising star in the Democratic Party during his failed run for the Senate this year, did not rule out a bid for the presidency during a town hall event with constituents in El Paso.

O'Rourke said he and his wife are considering how to move forward after Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) defeated him in the midterm elections earlier this month, the Washington Post reported Monday.

"Amy and I made a decision not to rule anything out," O'Rourke told reporters after the event, adding that his position on a possible presidential run in 2020 is different from the one he took during his Senate campaign.

O'Rourke, who has served in the House of Representatives since January 2013, garnered national attention during his Senate campaign and raised tens of millions of dollars, despite his lack of political experience.

Many people attended the town hall event because they consider O'Rourke a potential 2020 candidate, the Post reported.

"We want to see the next step because we want to be a part of it," said Martha Morales, an attendee from El Paso. "We want him to be president."

"He's the next Obama, and we weren't allowed to say that," said a volunteer from O'Rourke's campaign who was at the event.

O'Rourke's wife, Amy, referred to a possible presidential campaign as "scary," and said her husband has not spoken to any political strategists about running in 2020.

"I don't know. To me that just seems like you have to give up so much," Amy O'Rourke said. "I don't know if this is a line that I or we really want to cross."

Earlier this month, O'Rourke told "60 Minutes" that he would not run for president in 2020.

"Win or lose, I'm not—I'm not running in, in 2020," O'Rourke said.

If he decides to run, O'Rourke will likely have to navigate a crowded Democratic field. Potential contenders include former Vice President Joe Biden; Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.); Democratic Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), and Kamala Harris (Calif.); and many others.