"This is a crucial moment of truth for this country and for each one of us," said the 46-year-old former Democratic Congressman from Texas in a video announcing his candidacy. "The challenges we face now, the interconnected crises in our economy, our democracy and our climate have never been so great."
"They will either devour us or give us the best chance to unleash the genius of the United States of America," he added.
O & Rourke, who is launching a three-day sweep through eastern Iowa on Thursday, said he will hold a kick-off event on March 30 for his campaign in El Paso, Texas.
The race marks the culmination of his two-year, non-existent rise from a behind-the-scenes El Paso back to Democratic fame as a record-breaking fundraiser, the subject of a HBO documentary and two separate efforts to force him into the presidential campaign. He joins a crowded field of more than a dozen Democrats vying for the party's nomination.
In his announcement video, O Rourke said he would organize a "positive campaign" to bring out the best of each and every one of us trying to unite a very divided country. "
" We saw power in Texas, where people made no difference, no matter how big or how small they were, to stand between them and share us, "said O & Rourke.
O & Rourke lost this year's race in Texas, an offer to oust Republican Senator Ted Cruz, yet the Senate run O Rourke, who was in the House for three terms, moved into the national spotlight and broke the fundraising Endorsed a $ 80 million move and ended less than 3 percentage points behind Cruz ̵
In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, O & Rourke said the 2020 campaign must " m to deal with the great things that we hope to achieve and achieve for each other "(19659002) The most urgent, most urgent and existential challenge of all is the climate, and the scientists know that we have a period of only two years, to have a maximum of 12 years to make significant changes to address this threat and reduce the impact of the decisions we have made in the past – the consequences that our children and future generations will suffer. "
O & Rourke also began to explain what he saw on the eve of his entry as his top priorities race 2020.
" Conversion and signing of a law immigration policy that reflects who we are and our values and what We recognize it as true based on the facts, "he said." Make sure everyone can see a doctor and live up to his full potential. Listen to and build rural communities that have been left behind for so long. Ensuring that people who are looking for work are able to find them – that they are equipped with the skills and education and training they need to maximize their potential. But also invest in people who are already working. There are so many people in this country who have two and three jobs and are struggling to make ends meet. "
" The goal can not be the election night in November 2020. The goal must really be the realization of what this country can do, "said O & Rourke.
In his Senate race against Cruz, O & Rourke They often blurred their political differences in issues such as trade by: they said the two agreed, and while O'Rourke took a series of progressive positions, he pleaded for revisions to the criminal justice system and legalization of marijuana, supported "Medicare-for-all" and said he would deprive President Supporting Donald Trump – The race was primarily a clash of personalities
While O Rourke has to prove his policies, his strengths – he is an indefatigable fighter who has chosen the younger voters for himself – prove to be Test whether the democratic base and its legions of young voters are more interested in inspiring personalities or candidates whose ideology with their own practice
Ours Rourkes entry into the presidential election is the culmination of appeals to him to sound out an offer for a national office that began after his nearer than expected end in the Senate's 2018 campaign.
Afterwards, Obama praised the Texan for his Senate run and called him an "impressive young man who ran a great race."
"What I liked best was that his race was not constantly reviewed," Obama said during a podcast with his former top strategist David Axelrod. "It felt like he was basing his statements and positions on what he believed in. And so you'd like to think things usually work, but unfortunately not."
O & Rourke refused to employ pollster His Senate campaign, employing only one digital consulting firm.
His national profile grew in August when NowThis released a video in which he answered a question about NFL players kneeling during the national anthem with an off-the-cuff riff over the civilian right-wing movement as he players defended for having made their case "non-violent and peaceful while watching the eyes of this country".
While speculation about a presidential run built after its nearer than expected Senate loss, part of it has died in recent months.