On Thursday, Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) finally announced that he is entering the 2020 presidential race, ending months of speculation. The decision will put O’Rourke among the second-tier of candidates; he’s polling in sixth, wedged between Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).
While O’Rourke’s announcement was welcomed by a lot of politicians — he quickly picked up an endorsement from former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley — there was at least one politician who wasn’t so sure about what to make of the former congressman: President Donald Trump.
The president was meeting with the Irish Taoiseach on Thursday when reporters asked him what he makes of O’Rourke. In a strange response, Trump said, “I think he’s got a lot of hand movement. Is he crazy or is it just the way he acts?” He added that he watched O’Rourke on Thursday morning and said, “I’ve actually never seen anything quite like it.”
Watch the video below, via ABC News:
Asked about the newest 2020 candidate, Beto O'Rourke, President Trump says, "I think he's got a lot of hand movement. I've never seen so much hand movement … I've actually never seen anything quite like it" https://t.co/4oFlVSGma6 pic.twitter.com/1PN27SDgk1
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) March 14, 2019
The 2020 race promises to be a long road with one of the widest fields in the history of Democratic politics. Former Vice President Joe Biden has not announced his plans to run but he’s expected to make that move in the coming weeks. Trump doesn’t seem to have a solid grasp on O’Rourke yet, while he’s branded Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas” and Bernie Sanders as “crazy,” O’Rourke is largely a new character for him.
Meanwhile, O’Rourke will have to prove that he can keep up the fundraising prowess and grassroots energy that he generated in his unsuccessful Senate run against Ted Cruz. During that race, he enjoyed prolific media coverage. He has a unique backstory that includes stints in punk rock bands.
Like Sanders (who uses a wavy underline in his graphic), O’Rourke already has a recognizable campaign branding. He’s using the same logo that he used during his Senate race, a black-and-white “BETO” that nods to the Whataburger logo.