Friday, 22 November, 2019

Beto O’Rourke announces he’s dropping 2020 presidential bid

Beto O'Rourke Enlarge Image Beto O'Rourke AP
Travis Berry | 03 November, 2019, 00:54

He announced on March 14 his campaign for the presidency.

Mr O'Rourke had been urged by donors to drop out of the presidential race and run against Texas Senator John Cornyn, who is up for re-election next year.

O'Rourke led an all-staff call Friday afternoon, informing aides of his decision to drop out - a choice that came as a surprise to many of his staff in early-voting states.

O'Rourke told supporters in an email that he will not run for office next year.

Mr. O'Rourke canceled his speech at the dinner. "I was shocked, I was really shocked", said Liliana Herrara, 18, a native Texan in Des Moines. "If it's not his time now, it will be someday".

O'Rourke briefly stopped his campaign in August, after a mass shooting in his native El Paso.

Beto 2.0 focused heavily on gun control - including a mandatory gun buyback of assault-style weapons.

Coming from the Texas border city, O'Rourke was also one of the most unrelenting critics of Trump, especially over his plans to build a border wall and his immigration policies.

Mr O'Rourke has been a fierce critic of President Donald Trump, openly branding him a "racist" who is motivated by white supremacist views.

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In his farewell message, O'Rourke said he would support the Democratic nominee. He later described the cover, along with his choice of words, as a mistake. But as the excitement over his candidacy began to fade, O'Rourke was forced to stage a "reintroduction" of his campaign to reinvigorate it. But his fund-raising cratered nearly immediately.

He raised an impressive $6.1 million in the first 24 hours after announcing his presidential bid. That means he will also not become a Senate candidate in Texas, despite pleas from some Democrats for him to take on Republican Sen.

How did Mr O'Rourke quit?

The latest campaign finance report issued on September 30 showed O'Rourke spent $13,965,478, according to Open Secrets.

To Mr. O'Rourke and his allies, it has been evident for some time that he was confronting a vanishingly slim path forward.

Mr O'Rourke was expected to address crowds later on Friday at an event in Iowa.

In this October 10, 2019 photo, Democratic presidential candidate former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke speaks during the Power of our Pride Town Hall in Los Angeles.

Democratic frontrunners tweeted their tributes to Mr O'Rourke after he stood aside. He eventually failed to secure two additional polls to qualify for the November debate, which will be hosted in Georgia by MSNBC and The Washington Post.

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