O'Rourke: 'It would be very difficult not to select a woman' as running mate

O'Rourke: 'It would be very difficult not to select a woman' as running mate
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Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke said late Saturday that it would be "very difficult not to select a woman" as his running mate if he wins his party’s nomination in 2020.

"It would be very difficult not to select a woman with so many extraordinary women who are running right now," he said during a campaign stop in Dubuque, Iowa, The Dallas Morning News reported.

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"But first I would have to win," he said. "You know, this is as open as it has ever been."

O’Rourke added that it would be "presumptuous" to think about a vice presidential selection, according to the newspaper.

He later told someone attending the event that it would be his "preference" to select a female running mate, the Morning News added.

O’Rourke, a former congressman from Texas who announced his 2020 bid last week, is part of a crowded and historically diverse pool of Democratic candidates vying to take on President TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist MORE.

The Morning News noted that it includes four female senators — Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump digs in ahead of House vote to condemn tweet 'Game of Thrones' scores record-breaking 32 Emmy nominations The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet MORE (N.Y.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris tops Biden in California 2020 poll The Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment Democrats fret over Trump cash machine MORE (Calif.) Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharKlobuchar fundraises for McConnell challenger: 'Two Amys are better than one' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump digs in ahead of House vote to condemn tweet The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet MORE (Minn.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHarris tops Biden in California 2020 poll The Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment Democrats fret over Trump cash machine MORE (Mass.) — as well as Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardDemocrats ask Labor Department to investigate Amazon warehouses Jack Dorsey maxes out donations to Tulsi Gabbard presidential bid Sanders praises Gen Z for being 'profoundly anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic' MORE (Hawaii).

Last month, Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerThe Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment Lawmakers pay tribute to late Justice Stevens Schumer throws support behind bill to study reparations MORE (N.J.), another Democratic presidential candidate, said he would prioritize finding a female running mate if he is the Democratic nominee, the newspaper added.

Booker told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow that he would be “looking to women first” as his pick for vice president.

O'Rourke served three terms in Congress before losing a bid to unseat Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGoogle official denies allegations of ties to China The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet Cruz in 2016 said 'something fundamentally wrong' with Christians who back Trump: book MORE (R-Texas) last year.

He was criticized last week for saying that his wife, Amy, raises their children "sometimes" with his help. O'Rourke has pledged to be more mindful about how he talks about his family.

This report was updated at 8:46 a.m.