Earlier today, Beto O’Rourke announced that he will be suspending his presidential campaign, an unsurprising development for anyone who has been following his low polling numbers. He ran a good campaign and has a bright future in Democratic politics, even if he won’t be our nominee in 2020. He should be commended for dropping out when he did and there are several other candidates who should follow his lead so that we can start to coalesce around a single person and help them defeat the worst president in American history this coming election.
O’Rourke shared his decision on Medium in a post entitled “Thank you.” He cited a lack of “means to move forward successfully” as a primary factor in his dropping out, which as The New York Times explains, is a reference to his campaign’s dwindling coffers.
The former Congressman took specific aim at the president in his post, calling out the manner in which Trump continues to divide us as a country when his goal should be to unite all of us.
“I decided to run for President because I believed that I could help bring a divided country together in common cause to confront the greatest set of challenges we’ve ever faced. I also knew that the most fundamental of them is fear — the fear that Donald Trump wants us to feel about one another; the very real fear that too many in this country live under; and the fear we sometimes feel when it comes to doing the right thing, especially when it runs counter to what is politically convenient or popular,” wrote O’Rourke.
Trump himself decided to comment on O’Rourke’s campaign suspension in the only way he knows how: tweeting. The president took to Twitter and facetiously mourned the news, mockingly bringing up a Vanity Fair interview during which O’Rourke spoke about his presidential candidacy. Trump misquoted him as saying he was “born for this.” What O’Rourke really said in that piece was that he was “just born to be in it” and that he wants to do “everything I humanly can for this country at this moment.” In other words, it was a very far cry from the way Donald Trump sees the world and the manner in which he has conducted himself as our nation’s leader.
O’Rourke is ten times the man Donald Trump is. The former offers hope and trust in the American experiment, the latter fails to see beyond his own turgid ego.
Oh no, Beto just dropped out of race for President despite him saying he was “born for this.” I don’t think so!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2019
Trump can engage in this kind of petty Twitter behavior all he wants, it won’t save his presidency. Impeachment is proceeding quickly and he is headed into 2020 as a damaged, demonstrably crooked and incompetent incumbent. Democrats are going to seize the White House in 2020, and Trump is starting to realize it. As we move towards that historic terminus, O’Rourke’s words in his post should serve as a guiding light.
“We will work to ensure that the Democratic nominee is successful in defeating Donald Trump in 2020. I can tell you firsthand from having the chance to know the candidates, we will be well served by any one of them, and I’m going to be proud to support whoever that nominee is.
And proud to call them President in January 2021, because they will win.”
Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.