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Former Rep. Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke (D-TX) on Thursday announced he is running for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.

“The only way for us to live up to the promise of America is to give it our all and to give it for all of us,” O’Rourke said in a video announcement with his wife Amy Sanders O’Rourke by his side. “We saw the power of this in Texas.”

“This is going to be a positive campaign that seeks to bring out the very best from every single one of us, that seeks to unite a very divided country,” O’Rourke added. “We saw the power of this in Texas.”

In a glowing Vanity Fair profile released Wednesday evening, the former Texas congressman made several hints that he would seek the highest office in the land.

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

O’Rourke will campaign in Iowa over the next several days.

“It’s telling that the Democrats’ biggest star is someone whose biggest accomplishment is losing,” Michael Ahrens, Republican National Committee spokesman, Thursday morning. “Beto O’Rourke failed to get anything done in Congress, and with extreme policies like government-run health care and tearing down border barriers, his 2020 bid won’t be successful either.”

The former congressman rose to national prominence despite losing his bid to unseat incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) last November. Speaking to reporters in his native El Paso last month, O’Rourke raised the possibility that he might run for Senate again in 2020, this time challenging incumbent Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), or that he could possibly seek the 2020 Democrat vice presidential nomination — presumably by being another presidential candidate’s running mate. However, advisers close to O’Rourke have said for months that they didn’t see another Senate run as a viable option, which left the door open for a presidential bid.

Another contender expected to run is former Vice President Joe Biden, who recently said that his family supports him launching a White House bid and that he was “very close” to a decision.

While O’Rourke had continued to delay his decision, Democrat activists in states that hold early presidential voting contests, including Iowa, Nevada and South Carolina, have formed “Draft Beto” groups that have raised money and tried to line up would-be supporters.

In recent weeks, Draft Beto announced that it had created a “Beto Alert,” which will generate notifications by email and text message once O’Rourke makes his plans known, in order to “mobilize supporters right away.”

On immigration, O’Rourke has already positioned himself, in several respects, as the antithesis of President Trump, who made the issue the hallmark of both his 2016 campaign and his presidency.

In February, O’Rourke unveiled a 10-point plan which would grant citizenship for “Dreamers” and their parents, along with “millions more” who reside in the U.S. illegally. Brandon Rottinghaus, a political scientist at the University of Houston, told the Chronicle that O’Rourke’s proposal places him to the left of several Democrat presidential candidates “That is fairly to the left of where most of the people in the Democratic field are,” Rottinghaus noted.

The plan also makes it more difficult for people in the U.S. illegally to migrate back home. “Here’s why,” the Texas Democrat began, “as we made it harder for people to cross into the United States, we made it less likely that once here they would attempt to go back to their home country. Fearing an increasingly militarized border, circular patterns of migration became linear.”

Some Texas Republicans say O’Rourke’s proposal is a slap in the face to U.S. citizens and those who immigrated legally.

“He is now showing even more how out of touch he is and how little he cares for American citizens and those who have followed the law to seek to become citizens,” James Dickey, Texas Republican Party Chairman, said. “Creating a whole new class of citizens whose status is a direct reward for breaking the law is just his latest dangerous extremist position.”

O’Rourke addressed thousands at a baseball diamond February 11 across the street from President Trump’s rally, denouncing border walls as ineffective and racist — even though his city has had some form of barrier separating it from neighboring Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, for decades.

O’Rourke later suggested on MSNBC that he would tear down El Paso’s walls. However, he later backtracked by saying that he supports physical barriers along some parts of the U.S.-Mexico border, saying that his past sentiments applied only to El Paso and were part of a larger argument that border walls haven’t made the city safer.

“I think there is a role for physical barriers in some places,” O’Rourke said. “I’m just as concerned about border security and safety as anyone. I live here. I’m raising my kids a short walk from the U.S.-Mexico border. But we won’t achieve that safety and security through walls.”

He said he’d work with landowners and local leaders in border communities and others who “actually live there” to determine where walls might work.

“Yes, let’s have security,” O’Rourke said. “Let’s have safety, but let’s do it intelligently.”

In an interview in 2006, he decried President George W. Bush’s proposal for bolstering the existing walls with more surveillance technology. Bush’s barrier “didn’t seem like a meaningful suggestion at all, but maybe that’s because we already have it and it doesn’t seem to be working,” he said.

While O’Rourke may have a plan to be the anti-Trump Donald Trump on immigration, some observers say the former Texas congressman may also need to cook up ways to keep himself from falling off voters’ radar as leading Democrat presidential candidates such as Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) campaign heavily in key primary states.

“It seems like his star was fading,” Tim Hagle, a political scientist at the University of Iowa, told the Dallas Morning News. “That would be because he’s not in the news.”

The most recent Harvard CAPS/Harris poll places O’Rourke sixth among a slate of current or potential candidates. The poll, reported first by The Hill, shows Biden leading the pack, with 37 percent of Democrat voters. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) came in second place at 22 percent, while Harris notched a third place finished with 10 percent, according to the survey.

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Helen

    March 14, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    Robert Francis reminds me of Howard Dean!

  2. Mary Johnson

    March 14, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    Can not use his own name. Is a criminal and so he must be the one replacing Hillary this go around. He should not be allowed to run period.

  3. errollus

    March 14, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    This guy is really nuts.

  4. Ed

    March 14, 2019 at 7:41 pm

    I think more of them need to run! I’m surprised AOC’s handlers haven’t yet pushed her into the race. We’ve had quite a few puppets in office recently, so she and “Beto” would fit right in.

  5. Tex

    March 14, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    Beto is a complete Fraud! I’m from Texas and we call him
    Cocaine Beto! Funded by the George Soros Neo-Nazi Communist Groups & Mexican Cartels!
    He has been groomed at The a Communist
    Democrat Camp to come across as authentic and taught the Nazi Mind Manipulation Tricks to get people to believe his lying ass.
    Don’t fall for this drugged up Fraud!!!

  6. Ginny

    March 14, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    He acts like he’s on cocaine or meth! The guy is weird!
    I guess the Money Handlers, taught all the Neo-Nazi Democrats to use their arms and hands to convince people of their lies.
    Notice how AOC, OMar, Tashib and other Neo Nazi
    Communist in Washington do the same arm & hand flinging when speaking. They probably have a swazticka
    Tattooed on their Ass!!
    All fakes trying to get the dumb asss to vote for them!

  7. Lil

    March 14, 2019 at 9:03 pm

    This animal will become a twice loser..over my dead body this animal will get my vote.

  8. Georgette

    March 14, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    Democrats are going to run Biden for President & Beto
    As Vice President in 2020. They figure they can catch all the votes with this combo!!
    Ha! They have been saying Beto was touring the country in his pickup truck for last couple of months, when he really was being Trained At The Nazi Communist Camp to run for VP!!! Guess that’s where Biden has been also!
    Both of them are complete Lying Frauds that will tell stupid people anything to get their votes!!
    We Do Not Want More Of The Muslim America Hating Obama People in office!!

  9. Margie

    March 14, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    Ha! The Media has been telling people Beto was traveling the country in his pickup truck for last couple of months,
    Looks like he’s been at The Nazi Communist Camp
    being taught how to speak and act so he manipulates the stupid people into voting for him!!
    Watch Nazi Communist Democrats are going to run
    Biden for Pres. & Beto for Vice.Pres. In 2020 election.
    They figure they can cover all Democrats vote with this combo.

    Looks like Biden has been at Nazi Communist Camp also
    Learning how to Manipulate People into Voting for them.
    These people will tell American People all sorts of lies to get their votes. Complete Frauds and out to Destroy America!!
    We Do Not Want More Muslim America Hating Obama People in Office.

  10. Kevin

    March 15, 2019 at 2:15 am

    Maybe they learned to fling their arms & hands at the camp, all the new Nazi Socialist are doing it Man!!!

  11. Ahzz

    March 17, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    Beto O’ Dork is a perfect example to when you take a bad acid trip – and NEVER RETURN!
    Naming YOURSELF “Beto” and “Psychedelic Warrior” & seeing his crazy, waving, out-of-control hands show us that!

    • Ahzz

      March 17, 2019 at 2:18 pm

      Also… he’s a product/brand – funded by Obama, Hil”LIAR”y, Soros and the wacky, left wing media.

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