Beto O’Rourke teases presidential bid on Vanity Fair cover

Beto O’Rourke teases presidential bid on Vanity Fair cover

Beto O’Rourke teases presidential bid on Vanity Fair cover

He has been discussed as a potential candidate ever since his unexpectedly tight race previous year to unseat Senator Ted Cruz, when his grassroots campaign of inclusion and getting people politically involved gained national attention.

Early opinion polls on the 2020 race have consistently ranked O'Rourke in the top tier of contenders, behind former vice president Joe Biden, who has not yet said whether he is running, and US Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a 2016 presidential contender who announced his 2020 candidacy last month.

O'Rourke, a critic of President Trump's zero-tolerance immigration policies, has been linked to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party in the mold of New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The addition of O'Rourke makes a crowded Democratic field even more crowded, and it will be fascinating to see if he can find a constituency, and where it will come from. In an encouraging sign, however, a third of respondents said they did not know enough about him to have an opinion.

His initial challenge in the Democratic presidential race will be to distinguish himself from candidates sharing his positions on key progressive issues, such as universal health care and refusing donations from corporate political action committees.

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And: "You can probably tell that I want to run", he said.

Beto O'Rourke after the 2018 midterms.

O'Rourke, whose given name is Robert Francis, acquired his nickname while growing up in El Paso, Texas.

The confirmation comes hours after the publication of a lengthy Vanity Fair cover profile in which O'Rourke did little to hide his desire to run for the White House.

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