President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE on Friday scoffed at reports that Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) may be mulling a White House run in 2020.
“I thought you were supposed to win before you run for president,” Trump told reporters after meeting with Republican senators to negotiate a government funding bill.
The president was congratulating Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote The Hill’s Morning Report – Trump’s public standing sags after Floyd protests GOP senators introduce resolution opposing calls to defund the police MORE (R-Texas) for his victory over O’Rourke, though the campaign was much more competitive than expected.
The Democrat’s ability to run a tight race in the ruby-red Lone Star State, ignite the party’s base and rake in a record amount of individual donations catapulted him into the 2020 conversation ahead of what is expected to be a crowded Democratic primary field.
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Polls have consistently shown him in the upper tier of contenders, often trailing just former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.). However, the primary could possibly see upward of 30 candidates.
O’Rourke said in November he has decided “not to rule anything out” when asked if he was running for president.
The Texas lawmaker has cast himself during his campaign as a candidate who would work across the aisle to get things done, but also said he would vote to impeach Trump.
“To quote George Will, a very conservative columnist, when we saw [Trump] on that stage in Helsinki defending Vladimir Putin, the head of the country that attacked our democracy instead of this country … that was collusion in action,” O’Rourke said in October, referring to a summit Trump held with the Russian president where he appeared to accept Putin’s widely discredited claim that the Kremlin did not interfere in the 2016 presidential election.