Pressed Again on Senate Run, Beto Gives an Answer

It's a no, because 'I'm taking this fight directly to Donald Trump'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2019 7:53 AM CDT
O'Rourke: 'I Will Not in Any Scenario' Run for Senate
Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke participates in the first of two Democratic presidential primary debates hosted by CNN on July 30, 2019, in the Fox Theatre in Detroit.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Last weekend, the Houston Chronicle editorial board made an impassioned plea to Beto O'Rourke: "Beto, come home. Texas needs you." The opinion piece implored the 2020 presidential candidate to drop out of his current race and make a Senate run in his home state, as he did in 2018 against Ted Cruz. This time he'd be up against Sen. John Cornyn, per the Hill. Others have made the same case, saying he has more of a chance to win a seat in the Lone Star State than in the Oval Office: Indeed, Fox News cites Real Clear Politics Democratic presidential polling data that has O'Rourke polling at an average of just 2.8%; at his highest, back in April, he reached just 9.5%.

Politico notes that earlier Thursday, O'Rourke told an El Paso crowd it "would not be good enough for El Paso ... [or] for this country" for him to settle for a Senate seat. On MSNBC Thursday night, he seemed to make that stance official. "Let me make your show the place where I tell you and I tell the country I will not in any scenario run for the United States Senate," he told Lawrence O'Donnell. "I'm running for president. I'm running for this country. I'm taking this fight directly to Donald Trump, and that is what I am exclusively focused on doing right now." Which would seem to settle it, except Politico points out that in November of last year, O'Rourke said he wouldn't run for president. At the Washington Post, Aaron Blake looks at "the credible case ... that the Senate is as important as the presidency." (More Beto O'Rourke stories.)

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