Beto O’Rourke acknowledged Tuesday he is considering runs for president and the Senate in 2020 and said he plans to decide on “what it is we do next” by the end of February.
The former Texas congressman who narrowly lost to Sen. Ted Cruz last year was asked whether he is considering challenging Republican Sen. John Cornyn in 2020.
“I’m trying to figure out how I can best serve this country – where I can do the greatest good for the United States of America,” O’Rourke said. “So, yeah, I’m thinking through that and it, you know, may involve running for the presidency. It may involve something else.”
His comments came after a luncheon, during which El Paso Inc. named O’Rourke the “El Pasoan of the Year.” Politico reported earlier this month that he had met with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to discuss the possibility of a second Senate run.
O’Rourke had previously told Oprah Winfrey he intended to decide whether he’ll run for president by the end of February. On Tuesday he said he is sticking with that timeline to decide about his political future.
He said the most important factors in his decision-making process are “how can I best serve this country” and “what’s best for my family.”
“I won’t be limited by, you know, the end of this month. But I expect to be able to get to a decision by the end of this month,” O’Rourke said.
He also took questions in Spanish, saying that he is not taking the Democratic vice presidential nomination off the table.
O’Rourke has blasted President Donald Trump’s push for a border wall in recent weeks, and last week said he wants to see the border separating El Paso from Juárez torn down.
But asked Tuesday whether that means he wants fencing along the entire US-Mexico border removed, O’Rourke said, “I think there is a role for physical barriers in some places.”
“I think there are in some places a need for a physical barrier, and here’s what I would do: I would work with local stakeholders, the property owners, the communities, those who actually live there, to determine the best security solution. That certainly didn’t happen” when El Paso’s border wall was built a decade ago, he said. “We saw in El Paso a solution in search of a problem imposed on us by people who did not live here.”