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'I'm just born to be in it,' Beto O'Rourke tells Vanity Fair

Posted at 11:16 PM, Mar 13, 2019

Beto O'Rourke said he feels called to run in 2020, according to a Vanity Fair profile published Wednesday on the potential Democratic Party presidential contender.

"I want to be in it," the former Texas congressman told the magazine. "Man, I'm just born to be in it, and want to do everything I humanly can for this country at this moment."

The article added to the building anticipation that the red state Democrat who sought last year to unseat GOP Sen. Ted Cruz will mount a 2020 campaign to defeat President Donald Trump. While O'Rourke lost his Senate bid, the race vaulted him into the national spotlight.

CNN reported previously that O'Rourke was ready to "push the button" on a White House effort.

O'Rourke seemed to confirm he was running in a text message with KTSM in El Paso, Texas. The station reported he texted, "I'm really proud of what El Paso did and what El Paso represents. It's a big part of why I'm running. This city is the best example of this country at its best."

As he arrived in Iowa Wednesday for three days of events that start Thursday, O'Rourke and his aides declined to comment to CNN's Leyla Santiago, or confirm the content of the text.

O'Rourke conceded explicitly to Vanity Fair that he wants to run. In February, he said his concerns over how his family would handle a campaign had lessened compared with three months prior.

He also recalled a discussion with former President Barack Obama, who O'Rourke said had asked him if he saw a path to victory and if there was something he could provide the country "uniquely."

O'Rourke's entry would see him join a primary field of more than a dozen Democratic candidates, many of whom are women or people of color. The former lawmaker said overrepresentation of white men in government was a problem and vowed to have a campaign and an eventual administration that reflected the nation's diversity.

"If I were to run, I think it's just so important that those who would comprise my team looked like this country," O'Rourke said. "If I were to run, if I were to win, that my administration looks like this country. It's the only way I know to meet that challenge."

"But I totally understand people who will make a decision based on the fact that almost every single one of our presidents has been a white man, and they want something different for this country. And I think that's a very legitimate basis upon which to make a decision. Especially in the fact that there are some really great candidates out there right now."