President Donald Trump said Friday it appears the media has chosen Beto O’Rourke as the favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020 and that he views the former El Paso congressman as a “dream” opponent.
“So who do you want to go up against in 2020?” Fox Business News host Maria Bartiromo asked Trump in a 20-minute interview broadcast Friday morning.
“So you have Beto. And Beto comes out and he says, ‘Let’s take down the wall,'” Trump said. “If you ever took down the wall, this country would be overrun.”
“You want to run against Beto?” Baritromo asked.
“I wouldn’t mind. I mean, I’d love to have Biden. I’d love to have Bernie, I’d love to have Beto. I mean, Beto seems to be the one the press has chosen. The press seems to have chosen Beto,” Trump said. “And when I watch Beto, I say we could dream about that.”
Recent polls have former Vice President Joe Biden, who has not yet announced whether he is running, and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who ran in 2016 and is running again in 2020, as leading the large Democratic field, with U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California and O’Rourke comprising the next tier of candidates.
The Daily Beast reported Thursday that in an appearance in Rome, Steve Bannon, Trump’s former top strategist and former executive chairman of Breitbart News, said that Harris and O’Rourke would be the most formidable Democratic duo in 2020.
“Beto on the ticket with Harris is the most dangerous ticket for Trump,” he said.
O’Rourke, hoarse from campaigning nonstop across the country since he threw his hat in the ring on March 14, on Friday was in South Carolina, where, at an appearance at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, he was asked if he was truly prepared for the extraordinary rigors of a presidential campaign.
“These last eight days have been a real pressure test to try to answer that question, all the states and communities that we’ve been to, all the people we’ve listened to and heard, the articles that have been written about us, the nasty stuff you see on Twitter, it really is a check on yourself, your head, your ego and your self-confidence and that of your family and your friends and everyone that comprises this that we hope will be the largest grassroots campaign in this country’s history,” responded O’Rourke. And he said, you have to add to that a president “who is the smallest, the meanest, the most vile and vindictive” of rivals.
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