AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - The announcement, Thursday morning, came with a dire prediction. "We are truly now, more than ever, the last great hope of Earth,” said Former Texas Congressman Robert Beto O’Rourke.
Along with that, O'Rourke with his wife, Amy confirmed on social media what many speculated he would do after losing his U.S. Senate race in November. "Amy and I are happy to share with you that I'm running to serve you as the next president of the United States of America."
O’Rourke joins an already crowded field of candidates seeking the Democratic Party nomination for President. His national campaign message apparently mirrors what he used in Texas to nearly unseat Republican Senator Ted Cruz. "This is going to be a positive campaign that seeks to bring out the very best from every single one of us; that seeks to unite a very divided country,” said O’Rourke.
The political divide has been used by O’Rourke to stay in the national spotlight.
In February, he organized a counter-protest to President Donald Trump's visit to southwest Texas.
The president was there promoting his call to fund more border security measures; including the construction of walls along the southern border. "You know, he is good at portraying an image that’s not the truth,” said Texas GOP Chairman James Dickey.
There is no surprise for Dickey regarding O'Rourke's conflicting messages. He is curious how Democrats outside of Texas will view the former Texas congressman. "He is so extreme, the Green New Deal is great even if that puts everyone out of work, but he will smile while he talks about it.
Thursday afternoon, O’Rourke was on the campaign trail. A group of reporters followed him into a small Ames, Iowa coffee shop to watch him shake hands and speak to possible caucus voters. He plans to have a formal kickoff rally in El Paso on March 30th.
Before O'Rourke left for Iowa, he was in Austin. A movie about his failed Senate bid is being shown during SXSW at the Paramount. The festival is about Movies, Music and Interactive, but it has become somewhat political. With that in mind, a few attendees sounded off on what they thought about O'Rourke throwing his hat into the ring.
"I think the smarter thing to do would be announcing earlier, there are so many candidates he should have come out at the beginning of January, I'll probably still support him,” said a woman from Seattle.
A man from Port Arthur admitted not knowing that much about O’Rourke. He told FOX 7, “I'm hearing about him a lot on social media, I see he got a lot of youth going on for him in the moment, I don’t know too much about him, but I hear he has a lot of youth with him."
A man from Houston knew even less saying, "I don’t know much about it, so I don’t know."
There were others who walked near the Paramount where the O’Rourke movie was being shown, with no interest in seeing a Sequel. "No, what are there 20 of them, already, but no, I wouldn't vote for him,” said a man who recently moved to Austin from Kerrville.
In the Oval Office, President Trump welcomed O’Rourke to the Democratic primary race. He made a wise crack about O’Rourke’s expressive hand motion that he made while speaking on the video post, and by said he was ready to face anyone in the race for the White House.