2020 Watch

Beto O'Rourke finally admits he's running for president in 2020

Beto O'Rourke finally admits he's running for president in 2020

Beto O'Rourke for Senate
Beto O'Rourke revealed his 2020 plans. Courtesy photo

You don't sit down with Oprah and talk about running for president and then not run for president.

After teasing for months, former U.S. Representative Beto O'Rourke finally entered the race on March 14. He joins a crowded field on the Democratic side, but O'Rourke's secret weapon may be tapping into what made him a national phenomenon and fundraising powerhouse when he challenged Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz in the 2018 midterms.

"I am running to serve you as the next president," he said in an early morning tweet. "The challenges we face are the greatest in living memory. No one person can meet them on their own. Only this country can do that, and only if we build a movement that includes all of us."

O'Rourke came close to unseating Cruz, losing by less than 3 percent of the vote, in a midterm that saw the highest voter turnout in almost 50 years in Texas. The Democrat from El Paso bested Cruz in the state's largest counties, winning 74 percent in Travis County, 66 percent in Dallas County, 59 percent in Bexar County, 58 percent in Harris County, and 50 percent in Tarrant County.

It wasn't enough for him to win in Texas, but O'Rourke grew a massive following because of viral moments such as his sobering yet hopeful comments on kneeling during the national anthem and civil rights, campaigning in all of Texas' 254 counties, and sharing live seemingly every waking moment of his campaign. We're talking down to his hearing random thoughts while driving, seeing what he's eating, and watching him skateboard and even do his laundry.

O'Rourke will spend the first days of his campaign on a three-day trip in Iowa that will include five meet and greets and an event with Eric Giddens, a Democrat running in a state senate special election.