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'RourkeO'Rourke mum on run for Texas governor Beto O'Rourke, Willie Nelson financially back Texas Democrats in elections bill fight Texans split on whether Abbott deserves reelection: poll 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 Cruz228 Republican lawmakers urge Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade GOP, Democrats battle over masks in House, Senate Human rights can't be a sacrificial lamb for climate action 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 HarrisHarris's bad polls trigger Democratic worries Why in the world are White House reporters being told to mask up again? Want to improve vaccine rates? Ask for this endorsement MORE (D-Calif.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenPelosi disputes Biden's power to forgive student loans Warren hits the airwaves for Newsom ahead of recall election Human rights can't be a sacrificial lamb for climate action MORE (D-Mass.), Corey Booker (D-N.J.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats say they have the votes to advance .5T budget measure Millennial momentum means trouble for the GOP Briahna Joy Gray: White House thinks extending student loan pause is a 'bad look' MORE (I-Vt.) have already jumped into the crowded White House race.

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFirst lady leaves Walter Reed after foot procedure Biden backs effort to include immigration in budget package MyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News 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.