Aug 15, 2019

Beto O'Rourke's 2020 relaunch still targets Trump instead of Senate

Beto O'Rourke. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Stringer/Getty Images

2020 contender Beto O'Rourke issued a relaunch of his campaign Thursday, refocusing his fight to take on President Trump and shifting campaign efforts away from early primary states, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: The move allays speculation that O'Rourke will drop out of the presidential contest to pursue a Senate bid in Texas.

  • O'Rourke has been in the spotlight since a mass shooting killed 22 people in his hometown of El Paso in early August. O'Rourke said he felt even more determined to pursue the Democratic nomination after the attack, stating, "I can meet [Trump] on this issue in very personal terms and from a place that no one else can."

Between the lines: Despite a wave of promoted public appearances, O'Rourke's campaign is still considered a long shot. After 2 lukewarm debate performances and low polling numbers, his candidacy largely stalled.

  • An op-ed in the Houston Chronicle last week urged O'Rourke to "come home" and run for Senate. "The chances of winning the race you’re in now are vanishingly small. And Texas needs you," the paper's Editorial Board wrote.

What he's saying: O'Rourke says he will shift away from the traditional primary-states schedule most presidential contenders follow and instead focus on immigrant-rich communities, making gun control his key talking point.

The bottom line: While O'Rourke has a relaunch strategy, this is not the first time he's tried to re-establish himself as a viable contender.

Go deeper: Beto O'Rourke on the issues, in under 500 words

Go deeper

Updated 49 mins ago - Politics & Policy

CNN crew arrested live on air while reporting on Minneapolis protests

CNN's Omar Jimenez and his crew were arrested Friday by Minneapolis state police while reporting on the protests that followed the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in the city.

What happened: CNN anchors said Jimenez and his crew were arrested for not moving after being told to by police, though the live footage prior to their arrests clearly shows Jimenez talking calmly with police and offering to move wherever necessary.

First look: Trump courts Asian American vote amid coronavirus

Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

The president's re-election campaign debuts its "Asian Americans for Trump" initiative in a virtual event tonight, courting a slice of the nation's electorate that has experienced a surge in racism and harassment since the pandemic began.

The big question: How receptive will Asian American voters be in this moment? Trump has faced intense criticism for labeling COVID-19 the "Chinese virus" and the "Wuhan virus" and for appearing to compare Chinatowns in American cities to China itself.

How the U.S. might distribute a coronavirus vaccine

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Now that there are glimmers of hope for a coronavirus vaccine, governments, NGOs and others are hashing out plans for how vaccines could be distributed once they are available — and deciding who will get them first.

Why it matters: Potential game-changer vaccines will be sought after by everyone from global powers to local providers. After securing supplies, part of America's plan is to tap into its military know-how to distribute those COVID-19 vaccines.