Conservative group targets O'Rourke in new ad amid 2020 speculation

The conservative group Club for Growth has launched a new advertisement targeting former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeVeronica Escobar to give Spanish-language response to Trump State of the Union address Biden calls for revoking key online legal protection Trump mocks Booker over suspended presidential campaign MORE (D-Texas) ahead of his possible White House bid.

The commercial, titled "Pedigree," argues O'Rourke has drawn unwarranted comparisons to former President Obama and describes O'Rourke as benefitting from the privilege of being a white man.


Politico reported that the advertisement is expected to begin airing this week in Iowa, where the Democratic Party's first-in-the-nation caucuses will be held in February next year. O'Rourke, who narrowly lost a Senate race last year to Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCruz scolds reporter who brought up his daughters Can Democrats flip the Texas House? Today's result will provide a clue Republicans show little enthusiasm for impeachment witness swap MORE (R-Texas), has not announced a bid for the Democratic nomination in 2020 but has said he is considering one.

The Club for Growth ad says O'Rourke and Obama "blazed different paths" after earning undergraduate degrees from Columbia University.

"Obama championed progressive causes on campus, seeking to combat inequality and harmful stereotypes. Beto perpetuated them, casting aspersions on working women," the ad's narrator says.

"Obama went on to become the first African-American editor of the Harvard Law Review, breaking barriers," the narrator later adds. "Beto crashed into them, causing a collision while driving drunk then fleeing the scene to avoid accountability. His charges were dropped as people of color languished behind bars for far less."

The ad then asks whether those events were "youthful indiscretions or threads in a lifelong pattern revealing an indelible sense of entitlement."

Club for Growth President David McIntosh told Politico that the group targeted O'Rourke because it worries that, if he were the nominee, he would have a chance to win Texas.

“We watched what he did in Texas in the race against Cruz and realized his potential within the Democratic primary system is enormously larger than what people are giving him credit for right now. We realized, here is a real potential threat because if he is the nominee then Texas suddenly is in play,” McIntosh said.

If O'Rourke were to jump in the 2020 race, he would be joining an already crowded field of high-profile Democratic candidates.

Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSanders allies in new uproar over DNC convention appointments Biden leads 2020 pack in congressional endorsements Harris on 2020 endorsement: 'I am not thinking about it right now' MORE (D-Calif.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBiden on whether Sanders can unify party as nominee: 'It depends' Overnight Health Care — Presented by Philip Morris International — HHS has no plans to declare emergency over coronavirus | GOP senator calls for travel ban to stop outbreak | Warren releases plan to contain infectious diseases Biden lines up high-profile surrogates to campaign in Iowa MORE (D-Mass.), Corey Booker (D-N.J.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersNew campaign ad goes after Sanders by mentioning heart attack Biden on whether Sanders can unify party as nominee: 'It depends' Steyer rebukes Biden for arguing with supporter he thought was Sanders voter MORE (I-Vt.) have already jumped into the crowded White House race.

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenPerry delegation talking points stressed pushing Ukraine to deal with 'corruption' GOP senator airs anti-Biden ad in Iowa amid impeachment trial Biden photobombs live national news broadcast at one of his rallies MORE is also mulling a possible bid.

A recent Iowa poll shows O'Rourke in fifth place among the possible Democratic contenders, with Biden and Sanders leading the field.