Trump mocks O'Rourke's 'crazy' hand movements

President TrumpDonald John TrumpAlaska Republican Party cancels 2020 primary Ukrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' MORE on Thursday mocked Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke gun confiscation talk alarms Democrats NRA deems O'Rourke 'Salesman of the Month' after Arizona gun store sells out of AR-15s during 'Beto Special' MSNBC 'Climate in Crisis' special draws 1.3M viewers in 8 pm timeslot MORE's "crazy" hand movements after the former Texas congressman announced his bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

"I think he's got a lot of hand movement," Trump said when asked in the Oval Office about O'Rourke entering the race.

"I've never seen so much hand movement. I said, 'Is he crazy or is that just the way he acts?'" added Trump, who is himself known to be expressive with his hands during campaign rallies and other events.

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump referenced a video of O'Rourke campaigning in Iowa, where the candidate waved and shook his hands emphatically as he spoke.

“I've actually never seen anything quite like it,” Trump said. “Study it. I’m sure you'll agree.”

The president declined to say whether he viewed O'Rourke or former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenUkrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' Warren overtakes Biden in Iowa for first time: poll MORE as a stronger opponent in 2020. Biden has yet to announce whether he'll run for president again, but he is widely expected to do so.

"Whoever it is, I'll take him or her on," Trump said.

O'Rourke officially announced his candidacy for president in a video published Thursday morning, ending months of speculation and joining a steadily growing field of presidential hopefuls.

“This is a defining moment of truth for this country and every single one of us,” O'Rourke said.

The El Paso Democrat joins Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren overtakes Biden in Iowa for first time: poll Warren avoids attacks while building momentum Sanders unveils plan to eliminate Americans' medical debt MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisWarren overtakes Biden in Iowa for first time: poll Iowa GOP swipes at 2020 Democrats' meat positions as candidates attend annual Steak Fry Warren avoids attacks while building momentum MORE (D-Calif.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharMSNBC 'Climate in Crisis' special draws 1.3M viewers in 8 pm timeslot The two most important mental health reforms the Trump administration should consider Sanders searches for answers amid Warren steamroller MORE (D-Minn.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerIowa GOP swipes at 2020 Democrats' meat positions as candidates attend annual Steak Fry Booker aide sounds alarm about campaign's funding 2020 Democrats defend climate priorities in MSNBC forum MORE (D-N.J.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren overtakes Biden in Iowa for first time: poll The polls are asking the wrong question Sanders unveils plan to eliminate Americans' medical debt MORE (I-Vt.), among others, in seeking the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination.

O'Rourke served three terms in Congress before an unsuccessful bid to unseat Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzState Department's top arms control official leaving Sanders NASA plan is definitely Earth first Trump judicial picks face rare GOP opposition MORE (R-Texas) last year. O'Rourke is a fundraising stalwart and has earned praise from former Obama advisers, Oprah Winfrey and a couple congressional Democrats.

White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley corrected Fox News anchors during an appearance on "America's Newsroom" on Thursday by noting that O'Rourke's given name is Robert Francis. He suggested the president would deploy that as a line of attack on the trail.

"He's called him that before on the campaign trail, and why wouldn't he? That's his name," Gidley said.