Vilsack warns Dems on 2020 candidates: ‘I don’t think the country is looking for rock stars’

Vilsack warns Dems on 2020 candidates: ‘I don’t think the country is looking for rock stars’
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Former Iowa Gov. Tom VilsackThomas James VilsackUSDA: Farm-to-school programs help schools serve healthier meals OVERNIGHT MONEY: House poised to pass debt-ceiling bill MORE (D) said in a new interview that Democrats should be careful about courting "rock stars" as 2020 presidential candidates.

“We’re always looking for rock stars but I don’t think the country is looking for rock stars,” Vilsack, who also served as Agriculture secretary under former President Obama, told The New York Times.

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Vilsack also told the Times that it would be "odd" to nominate Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke raises .5 million in third quarter Conservatives slam Beto O'Rourke over threat to tax-exempt status for religious organizations The Hill's Campaign Report: Impeachment fight to take center stage at Dem debate MORE (D-Texas) for president, given that he just lost his race for a Senate seat.

"It’s probably a good idea to win the first race you were interested in,” Vilsack said. “Maybe he’s the new Abe Lincoln, you lose a race and then run for president and win.”

Other Democrats have already begun to tout O'Rourke, who emerged as a star on the campaign trail, as a potential candidate in 2020.

For his part, O'Rourke has said that he isn't considering a run for president in 2020, a pledge he doubled down on last week.

“I will not be a candidate for president in 2020,” O’Rourke told MSNBC. “That’s, I think, as definitive as those sentences get.”