House Speaker Nancy Pelosi struggled to name a single accomplishment that former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) had while he was in the House of Representatives when she was asked by a reporter on Thursday during a press conference.
“Beto O’Rourke announced today that he is running for president,” NBC News’ Kasie Hunt said. “What in your view was Beto O’Rourke’s signature accomplishment as a member of the House?”
“Beto brought vitality to Congress…when he came, he came as a real champion for the environment,” Pelosi responded. “He got a great deal of support from the environmental community in his district, he won a primary on that subject.”
“And, also, he was a member of the Armed Services Committee, a strong member of the Armed Services Committee, which is very important for his district,” Pelosi responded. “In preserving our planet and protecting our people, they’re at least two areas in addition to his vitality in so many different ways.”
The only bill that O’Rourke sponsored or co-sponsored during his time in Congress was a bill that designated “the federal building and U.S. courthouse located at 511 East San Antonio Avenue in El Paso, Texas, as the ‘R. E. Thomason Federal Building and United States Courthouse.'”
President Donald Trump mocked O’Rourke on Thursday following his announcement, saying: “He has a lot of hand movement. Is he crazy or is that just the way he acts?”
“I’ve never seen hand movement, I watched him a little while this morning, doing, I assume some kind of a news conference,” Trump continued. “I’ve actually never seen anything quite like it. Study it. I’m sure you’ll agree.”
“I am running to serve you as the next president,” O’Rourke tweeted Thursday morning. “The challenges we face are the greatest in living memory. No one person can meet them on their own. Only this country can do that, and only if we build a movement that includes all of us.”
“Any single Democrat running today — and I may not be able to enumerate every single one of them — would be far better than the current occupant of the White House,” O’Rourke later said. “So let’s keep this in mind, and we can conduct ourselves in this way every single day for the next 11 months until voting begins here in Iowa.”
“Ultimately, we all have to get on board with the same person, because it is fundamental to our chances of success that we defeat Donald Trump in 2020,” O’Rourke added. “This is democracy, and in the spirit of that, I want to make sure that I have the chance to listen to you.”
While some have suggested that O’Rourke is the next Barack Obama, CNN’s Harry Enten noted that there are profound differences between the two Democrat politicians, including the starting positions both had when starting their presidential campaigns, O’Rourke’s lack of a signature issue, and O’Rourke’s lack of appeal to minority voters.