O'Rourke after loss to Cruz: 'I am forever grateful'

Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeBeto O'Rourke, Willie Nelson financially back Texas Democrats in elections bill fight Texans split on whether Abbott deserves reelection: poll O'Rourke considering Texas governor bid: report MORE (D-Texas), after losing the Texas Senate race to Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzPoll: Trump leads 2024 GOP primary trailed by Pence, DeSantis US, Germany reach deal on controversial Russian pipeline State, Dems call out Cruz over holds ahead of key Russian talks MORE, told a crowd of cheering supporters, "I am forever grateful to every single one of you." 

O'Rourke, who won 48 percent of the vote to Cruz's 51 percent, streamed a video of his speech on Facebook Live, capping off a social media-centric campaign.


He called his run for Senate, which attracted nationwide attention, "powerful, magical [and] national." 

"I’m as inspired, I’m as hopeful as I have ever been in my life and tonight’s loss does nothing to diminish the way that I feel about Texas or this country," O'Rourke said, his voice breaking occasionally. 

The Texas Democrat ran a record-breaking campaign in the deep-red state, raising close to $70 million throughout the cycle as he gained rising Democratic star status.

"I am so proud of you and this city and this community and what you mean to the rest of this country," O'Rourke said to the crowd, his voice tinged with emotion. 

"I'm so f---ing proud of you guys," he added during the speech, which was aired live on MSNBC.  

"I just now had the opportunity to talk to Sen. Cruz," O'Rourke said, to boos from the crowd. "To congratulate him on his victory and to wish him well going forward." 

Cruz during his victory speech said he had called O'Rourke to congratulate him on campaigning "tirelessly." 

The incumbent Republican throughout the campaign led O'Rourke in the polls and received a lift from President TrumpDonald TrumpNew Capitol Police chief to take over Friday Overnight Health Care: Biden officials says no change to masking guidance right now | Missouri Supreme Court rules in favor of Medicaid expansion | Mississippi's attorney general asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade Michael Wolff and the art of monetizing gossip MORE's endorsement. 

O'Rourke during his speech said he pledged to Cruz that "at this time of division," he and his supporters will do "anything" to help Cruz "in his position of public trust." 

He said he pledged to "ensure that Texas helps to lead this country in a way that brings us back together around the big things that we want to achieve." 

"I’ll work with [Cruz], I’ll work with anyone to make sure we lead on that," O'Rourke said.

O'Rourke ended the speech with a promise to "see you out there down the road." 

The Facebook Live video continued to follow him as he left the stage, capturing some supporters yelling "2020, Beto!" as he exited the building.