O'Rourke Shifts on White House Plans: 'I Haven't Made Any Decisions'

O'Rourke previously said he definitively wouldn't run in 2020

November 16, 2018

Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D., Texas) shifted in his response to the oft-asked question about whether he will mount a campaign for president in 2020, saying Friday he hadn't made a decision after previously stating he wouldn't run.

A TMZ cameraman found O'Rourke walking near the Capitol and asked him whether he had thought about making a White House bid against President Donald Trump.

"It's been a little bit more than a week since we lost this election and ran this race, and I'm still taking that in and trying to figure out just where I am and where my family is, so, no, we haven't really been able to talk—" O'Rourke said, before the cameraman interrupted.

"So it sounds like you might be open to it, possibly?" he asked.

"You know ... I haven't made any decisions about anything is probably the best way for me to put it," he said. "I think everything's too fresh still for me."

O'Rourke, a three-term congressman from El Paso, captured progressive hearts across the country with his run for the U.S. Senate in Texas, setting fundraising records and attracting countless profiles and celebrity endorsements in his bid to knock off Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas).

O'Rourke ran an unabashedly progressive campaign in a state that hadn't elected a Democrat to statewide office in decades, and Cruz successfully portrayed him as out of step with Texans. O'Rourke fell short in a tight race, but his star rose as a potential Democratic contender to face Trump.

O'Rourke answered questions about the White House during the campaign and repeatedly said he wouldn't run, whether he defeated Cruz or not.

"I will not be a candidate for president in 2020," he said at one point. "That's I think as definitive as those sentences get."