Chris Matthews: Beto O’Rourke should run for president

MSNBC's Chris Matthews said Tuesday that Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkePoll: Sanders, Biden seen as most popular second choices in Dem primary O'Rourke says he'd 'absolutely' take down border wall near El Paso if he could NBC, CNN to host first two Democratic presidential primary debates MORE should run for president in 2020.

"Let me finish tonight with a strong suggestion. It's that Beto O'Rourke should run for president," Matthews said Tuesday night.

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Matthews compared O'Rourke to former President Obama.

"I got a good look at Beto's race for Senate, when we hosted the Hardball college tour at the university of Houston," he said. "There was magic in that room like when we hosted a Hardball college tour in West Chester University up in Pennsylvania in 2008 for Senator Obama. Democrats respond to magic."

O'Rourke, 46, lost his midterm battle against Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzPoll shows competitive matchup if O’Rourke ran for Senate again Democrats veer left as Trump cements hold on Republicans O’Rourke heading to Wisconsin amid 2020 speculation MORE (R), but made it a relatively close race in Texas, where Democrats have struggled to get traction.

His strong showing, coupled with a fundraising prowess that raised eyebrows across the country, has turned him into an early favorite among Democrats.

"I have a reason for urging a Beto run: I believe the elections should be about the future," Matthews said.

"And to those who say Beto can't win a Senate race in Texas, let me remind you of George Herbert Walker Bush, who lost two races for the Senate in Texas," he added, referencing the 41st president.