O'Rourke strongly signals he's entering Dem primary in Vanity Fair interview

O'Rourke strongly signals he's entering Dem primary in Vanity Fair interview
© Vanity Fair

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) strongly signaled that he is preparing to enter the Democratic 2020 presidential primary in a Vanity Fair interview released Wednesday. 

“I want to be in it,” O’Rourke said in the April cover story. “Man, I’m just born to be in it, and want to do everything I humanly can for this country at this moment.”

O’Rourke experienced a rise in popularity, which he referred to as "abnormal," following his narrow loss to Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators at White House Senators confirm Erdoğan played 'propaganda' video in White House meeting MORE (R) in the Texas Senate race in November. 

ADVERTISEMENT

He has since hedged about possible plans join a field of crowded Democratic contenders vying for a White House bid.

“You can probably tell that I want to run,” he told Vanity Fair. “I do. I think I’d be good at it.”

O’Rourke called the current political climate the “fight of our lives, not the fight-of-my-political life kind of crap.”

“But, like, this is the fight of our lives as Americans, and as humans, I’d argue,” the former congressman said.

He previously said that he and his wife, Amy, had not ruled any future campaigns. 

The progressive star told Vanity Fair that he’s not “as concerned” anymore about a presidential campaign having a negative impact on his family.

His 10-year-old daughter, Molly, said she wants to live in the White House. 

“I only want you to run if you’re gonna win,” his 12-year-old son, Ulysses, said. 

The three-term congressman acknowledged that his presidential run could face pushback in 2020. 

“The government at all levels is overly represented by white men,” he said. “That’s part of the problem, and I’m a white man.” 

O’Rourke vowed that surrounding himself with diverse advisers would be key. 

"So if I were to run, I think it’s just so important that those who would comprise my team looked like this country. If I were to run, if I were to win, that my administration looks like this country. It’s the only way I know to meet that challenge," O'Rourke said. 

“But I totally understand people who will make a decision based on the fact that almost every single one of our presidents has been a white man, and they want something different for this country,” he continued. “And I think that’s a very legitimate basis upon which to make a decision. Especially in the fact that there are some really great candidates out there right now.”

If he entered the race, O’Rourke would face off against a diverse field of candidates, including Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisNew poll catapults Buttigieg to frontrunner position in Iowa Growing 2020 field underscores Democratic divide Harris gets key union endorsement amid polling plateau MORE (D-Calif.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersSinger Neil Young says that America's presidents haven't done enough address climate change New poll catapults Buttigieg to frontrunner position in Iowa Growing 2020 field underscores Democratic divide MORE (I-Vt.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerNew poll catapults Buttigieg to frontrunner position in Iowa Deval Patrick: a short runway, but potential to get airborne Overnight Health Care: Warren promises gradual move to 'Medicare for All' | Rivals dismiss Warren plan for first 100 days | White House unveils rules on disclosing hospital prices | Planned Parenthood wins case against anti-abortion group MORE (D-N.J.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenNew poll catapults Buttigieg to frontrunner position in Iowa Bloomberg, Patrick take different approaches after late entries into primary race Deval Patrick: a short runway, but potential to get airborne MORE (D-Mass.).

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBudget official says he didn't know why military aid was delayed: report Growing 2020 field underscores Democratic divide READ: Foreign service officer Jennifer Williams' closed-door testimony from the House impeachment inquiry MORE is also considering entering the field. 

“If I bring something to this,” he told Vanity Fair, “I think it is my ability to listen to people, to help bring people together to do something that is thought to be impossible,” O’Rourke said.

Updated at 5:55 p.m.