In a move that raises more suspicion that he’s seriously considering a 2020 grab for the presidency, Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) reportedly met with Barack Obama at the former president’s offices in Washington, D.C., according to a scoop from The Washington Post.
The meeting took place Nov. 16, the Post reports, amid pressure from Obama aides eager for O’Rourke to capitalize on his momentum and run. The paper did not specify its sourcing on the meeting.
The El Paso, Texas, native narrowly lost his bid to unseat Republican Sen. Ted Cruz last month, but his campaign revitalized Democrats’ hopes that the right candidate could turn the reddest of states blue.
Though O’Rourke said during his Senate campaign that he didn’t have his eye on the presidency, he changed his tune at a town hall in El Paso last week and said that he and his wife had “made a decision not to rule anything out.”
If O’Rourke were to accept Obama’s help in a 2020 bid, it would signal a change in their political relationship. Though Obama had offered to come stump for O’Rourke in Texas while he was running against Cruz, O’Rourke declined and said he wanted the campaign to be by Texans, for Texans, a source told the Post.
A Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released Tuesday found that O’Rourke is the third most popular Democrat among potential 2020 presidential candidates, trailing behind former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).