President Donald Trump has mostly remained silent about the ever-growing list of candidates who have joined the Democratic race for the party's 2020 nomination to face him.
Gingrich added that O'Rourke had $80 million in the race against Cruz, but still lost in Texas, and he doesn't think he can take the state from Trump either.
Trump took questions from the Oval Office during his meeting with Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar, and he was asked for his thoughts on O'Rourke's campaign announcement.
O'Rourke confirmed his plan to formally announce his candidacy on Thursday morning to El Paso NBC affiliate KTSM. The son of a powerful El Paso, Texas politician, O'Rourke won election to the El Paso City Council in 2005 and served there until his election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. He shattered fundraising records, ending with an $80 million haul, and finished less than 3 percentage points behind Cruz - much closer than other Democrats had come in recent years against Republicans in a state that's always been a GOP stronghold.
"This is a defining moment of truth for this country and for every single one of us".
He pointed to his 2018 campaign as a confirmation of the potential for bipartisan appeals in an increasingly polarized electorate, a strategy certain to stand out as frontrunners in the Democratic primary pull the party to the left with proposals for Medicare-for-All health care and national job guarantees. And, as a white man, he's entering a field that has been celebrated for its diverse roster of women and people and color.
He captioned it, "I am running to serve you as the next president".
O'Rourke's presidential launch Thursday was a well-crafted spectacle that reaffirmed his star power and signaled that he'll be a force in what could be a long, grinding primary.
O'Rourke has promised to travel the country listening to voters, then will return to El Paso, on the border with Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on March 30 for an official campaign kickoff. Beyonce, a Houston native, endorsed O'Rourke.
Trademark, black-and-white "Beto for Senate" yard signs became staples in places like NY and Los Angeles - with some supporters now converting them to read "Beto for President 2020".
If elected to the White House, O'Rourke would be the second president to have graduated from Columbia College.
He has been discussed as a potential candidate ever since his unexpectedly tight race previous year to unseat Senator Ted Cruz, when his grassroots campaign of inclusion and getting people politically involved gained national attention.
The bid comes three and a half months after a narrow loss for Senate in Texas, a campaign that catapulted the 46-year-old, three-term lawmaker from El Paso to national prominence.
His comments were carried live on several cable television networks, something other Democrats in the already crowded White House field haven't had.