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Beto O'Rourke jumps into the ring for 2020 presidential race

The former Texas congressman made his announcement Thursday morning

PAUL RATJE/AFP/Getty Images

Former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke has announced his candidacy for president of the United States in 2020, laying out his agenda in a bid to become the Democratic Party's nominee.

What are the details?

O'Rourke had been expected to jump in the ring for months, after gaining national prominence last year in his failed attempt to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

The three-term representative from El Paso released a video in the early hours of Thursday morning, where he began making the case for his leadership to the American people.

Seated next to his wife, O'Rourke said, "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. This is a defining moment of truth for this country and for every single one of us. The challenges we face right now, the interconnected crises in our democracy and our climate, have never been greater."


In the clip, O'Rourke promised to run 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."

The 46-year-old candidate promptly began laying out the planks of his platform, saying, "We can begin by fixing our democracy, and ensuring that our government works for everyone, and not just for corporations."

O'Rourke then made a call for "real" justice reform, and "confront[ing] the hard truths of slavery, and segregation, and suppression in these United States of America."

Turning his attention to the environment, the former congressman said, "perhaps, most importantly of all — because our very existence depends on it — we can unleash the ingenuity and creativity of millions of Americans who want to ensure that we squarely confront the challenge of climate change before it's too late."

On immigration, O'Rourke said, "All of us, wherever you live, can acknowledge that if immigration is a problem, it's the best possible problem for this country to have."

Anything else?

O'Rourke is expected to be a major contender in an already-crowded Democratic field, after making a strong showing in last year's Senate race where he raised $80 million-plus with what Fox News called "his uplifting message and his mastery of social media."

One last thing…
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