U.S.

Beto O'Rourke Plans Nationwide Road Trip to Meet Voters

He’s not running, but he is driving. Beto O’Rourke will embark on a solo road trip across the U.S., speaking to American voters during planned “pop-ins” to community college campuses and in similar public venues, a source told The Wall Street Journal this week.

O’Rourke will begin his drive in his hometown of El Paso, Texas and purposefully stay away from election hot spots like Iowa and New Hampshire, according to the source.

O’Rourke has said he is still discussing a potential presidential bid with his family, and will likely stay mum about his decision until the end of February. Last month, O’Rourke told the Dallas Morning News he was worried about the toll a presidential run could take on his three young children and that he was thinking about taking a retreat to New Mexico to think things through. "I'd love to take a backpack up into the Gila Wilderness and just spend some time thinking through stuff," he said.

But the road trip could be signal of the three-term congressman’s White House ambitions.

O’Rourke used the road trip as a tool in his failed 2018 bid for Texas Senate against incumbent Ted Cruz, driving to all 254 counties in Texas while prolifically documenting his adventures on social media.

The El Paso native’s message to his supporters after losing the election, “see you down the road,” now appears to be quite literal.

O’Rourke has become a top potential contender in the 2020 Democratic primaries, despite his loss last November. Draft Beto 2020 and Draft Beto are two groups doing leg work for the candidate in key primary states ahead of his decision, and have already attracted staff like Tyler Jones, who ran Representative Joe Cunningham's successful campaign in South Carolina last year and Michael Soneff, who worked with the Nevada State Democratic party.

The former Congressman also has a documentary about his historic Texas Senate race coming out in the next few months. The documentary, partially funded by the former Obama staffers of Crooked Media, portrays an intimate view of O’Rourke’s life and political platform.

Further fueling 2020 speculation, O’Rourke has quietly met with a number of key Democratic figures including President Barack Obama, Reverend Al Sharpton and former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum in recent months.

When asked about the road trip, O’Rourke’s spokesperson did not respond to Newsweek's requests for comment.

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