Beto O’Rourke ending presidential campaign


adamkaz/iStock(WASHINGTON) — Beto O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman, announced on Twitter that he is dropping out of the 2020 president race.

Our campaign has always been about seeing clearly, speaking honestly, and acting decisively. In that spirit: I am announcing that my service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee.

— Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) November 1, 2019

Let us continue to fearlessly champion the issues and causes that brought us together. Whether it is ending the epidemic of gun violence or dismantling structural racism or successfully confronting climate change, we will continue to organize and mobilize and act.

— Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) November 1, 2019

Thank you for making this campaign possible, and for continuing to believe that we can turn this moment of great peril into a moment of great promise for America and the world.

— Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) November 1, 2019

The Democrat announced his candidacy in March, prompting media attention and polling numbers that put him among the then-front-runners and leading to an impressive first-day fundraising haul of $6.1 million.But O’Rourke’s stock steadily declined in the following months, with lackluster debate performances, a steep drop in fundraising and a plunge in the polls — registering no more than 3% or 4% in some national and state polls. He eventually failed to secure two additional polls to qualify for the November debate, which will be hosted in Georgia by MSNBC and The Washington Post.O’Rourke announced his White House bid just months after losing a closely watched 2018 midterm race in which he challenged Republican stalwart Sen. Ted Cruz, losing by just 3 percentage points. It was the closest race Texas had seen in recent decades. O’Rourke raised a record $38 million in one quarter of 2018, three times Cruz’s totals for the same period and the most raised in a U.S. Senate race in history.Finding viral and documentary fame, O’Rourke traveled to all of Texas’ 254 counties, including ones not visited by Democrats in years. It was a strategy he later applied to his presidential bid following a racially motivated mass shooting in his hometown of El Paso, Texas, that claimed the lives of 22 people.When re-launching his presidential campaign in El Paso after a 12-day hiatus from the trail, O’Rourke said he’d propose a mandatory buy-back program for assault rifles. The proposal was criticized by a number of his Democratic opponents and became a common Republican talking point when defending gun rights.While pushing the policy boundaries on topics like gun control, marijuana legalization and immigration, O’Rourke also faced scrutiny from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party for not backing policies like “Medicare for All,” instead preferring Medicare for America, a policy that would keep private employee-based health care options.Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.