Beto O’Rourke says nothing in his past will hinder 2020 run


MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke told supporters Sunday that he’s
never taken LSD and there’s "nothing" he hasn’t already revealed about his past that could
come back to hurt his run for office.
The former Texas congressman — who has become known for his propensity for using the "f-word" —
also promised again to clean up his language, despite breaking such past vows.
O’Rourke grabbed much attention as he wrapped up his first week of campaigning, but his challengers could
be found at events from the Upper Midwest to the South. And looming over them all is the shadow of one
prominent Democrat not in but not out, former Vice President Joe Biden. He has yet to announce a
Speaking in front of a large map of Russia inside a coffee shop in Wisconsin’s capital, O’Rourke promised
to return often, addressing concerns Democrats raised in 2016 after Hillary Clinton never campaigned in
the state after her party’s primary and lost the state to Donald Trump by fewer than 23,000 votes.
"This state is fundamental to any prospect we have of electing a Democrat to the presidency in
2020," O’Rourke said, adding that he was "really glad" Milwaukee was chosen to host the
2020 Democratic national convention. The city, which O’Rourke was visiting later Sunday, beat out Miami
and Houston.
O’Rourke, of course, has to secure the Democratic presidential nomination before he can worry about the
general election. But then he’s also already said he’d prefer to pick a woman as his running mate,
should he make it that far. O’Rourke said Sunday that it was presumptuous to commit to that so early,
but that doing so would make a "tremendous amount of sense" given the number of qualified
women candidates.
Many remember the Texan for declaring "I’m so f–king proud of you guys" on national television
during his concession speech in November, after narrowly losing his Senate race to incumbent Republican
Ted Cruz. O’Rourke said Sunday that he’ll not use profanities any more, after being asked by a voter if
he was going to "clean up his act," especially in front of children.
"Point taken, and very strongly made," O’Rourke said. "We’re going to keep it clean."
He made a similar pledge during his race with Cruz, then didn’t make good.
O’Rourke has previously admitted to a 1998 arrest for drunken driving and said nothing else will come out
that could be used against him during the 2020 presidential campaign. Later, he signed the skateboard of
a supporter who asked if he had ever taken the drug LSD. The candidate responded that he hadn’t.
About 400 people came to the coffee shop to hear O’Rourke. Half made it inside and half listened from the
sidewalk through the opened door. O’Rourke wore a St. Patrick’s Day necklace featuring green cabbage but
said he had coffee — not beer — with his breakfast: "Although it can be justified as an O’Rourke on
St. Patrick’s Day to do that," he joked, in a nod to his Irish heritage.
The Republican Party’s official Twitter accounted noted his past arrest, tweeting, "On this St.
Paddy’s Day, a special message from noted Irishman Robert Francis O’Rourke" and including an
altered photo of the Democrat’s mug shot wearing an oversized, green leprechaun hat over the phrase
"Please Drink Responsibly."
Other highlights of Sunday’s campaigning:
Kirsten Gillibrand formally joined the 2020 White House race on Sunday and previewed the hard line she
will take against President Donald Trump by announcing a rally outside one of his signature Manhattan
The New York senator had spent more than a month traveling around the country to gauge support for a run.
Gillibrand’s announcement that she was joining the dozen-plus Democratic candidates seeking the White
House came in a nearly three-minute video released early Sunday, when she says the national anthem poses
this question: "Will brave win?"
She said her debut speech as a candidate will come this coming Sunday in front of the Trump International
Hotel & Tower in New York.
Democratic Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is reacting to former Vice President Joe Biden’s "slip of
the tongue," when he suggested Saturday that he was already in the 2020 White House race — then
quickly caught himself.
"He has been running things for a long time as a senator and then as vice president," Klobuchar
said on CNN’s "State of the Union."
In a keynote speech at a Saturday dinner for the Delaware Democratic Party, Biden boasted that he has
"the most progressive record of anybody running."
Because Biden hasn’t announced whether he is running again for president, though, he followed up by
saying "anybody who would run."
Democrat Pete Buttigieg says he’s met a fundraising threshold to participate in this summer’s
presidential debates.
The South Bend, Indiana, mayor said says he’s received contributions from 65,000-plus individual donors.
That’s key because the Democratic National Committee said last month up to 20 candidates can qualify for
debates in June and July by collecting donations from at least 65,000 individuals, with at least 200
unique donors in at least 20 states.
In an email to supporters, Buttigieg said "we weren’t even close" to 65,000 donors when the DNC
originally announced the requirement. The 37-year-old veteran says more than 76,000 people have now
He also told "Fox News Sunday" that "all of the signs are pointing in the right
direction" to shift from just exploring a 2020 run to becoming an official candidate, as Gillibrand
did Sunday.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told New Hampshire voters he wants to see changes that are "fair to
working people," as he emphasized his record on paid sick leave, time off and health care.
"We’re not here on this earth just to work and work and struggle to make ends meet," he said.
"We deserve a more decent life than that."
The New York Democrat has not decided whether he will run for president, saying a decision would come
"sooner rather than later."
The mayor is scheduled to make three stops in New Hampshire on Sunday after meeting with young Democrats
in Manchester Saturday night.
If he does run for president, de Blasio would join a crowded field that includes more than a dozen
candidates, some of who are running on progressive ideals shared by the mayor.
Weissert reported from Dubuque, Iowa. Associated Press writers Sara Burnett in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and
Hunter Woodall in Concord, New Hampshire, contributed to this report.
This story has been corrected to show that Clinton didn’t campaign in Wisconsin after 2016 Democratic

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