Beto O'Rourke, the affable former congressman who rose to political stardom previous year when he almost ousted a Republican senator in traditionally conservative Texas, reportedly said Wednesday he is running for president.
The "born to be in it" comment has already garnered some backlash on social media, as issues of inequality and privilege are being debated in what is already the most crowded and diverse Democratic primary field in recent history.
O'Rourke is in Iowa for three days of campaigning, which includes canvassing for a Democratic state Senate candidate in an upcoming special election, running a 5K race and taping an episode of a local political podcast.
The former Texas congressman pushed back on Trump's inaccurate claims that a drop in crime was due to the barriers in El Paso, telling supporters, "We know that walls do not save lives - walls end lives".
The decision will put O'Rourke among the second-tier of candidates; he's polling in sixth, wedged between Sens.
O'Rourke premised much of his appeal in the Senate race on his refusal to accept money from political action committees, and instead raised $80 million from small-dollar donors, a national record for a Senate bid.
"Amy and I are happy to share with you that I'm running to serve you as the next president of the United States of America", O'Rourke said in a video announcing his candidacy.
He took a well-publicized road trip across the American Southwest, stopping at colleges and diners.
"But unlike Trump, O'Rourke can appear nearly too innocent to be a politician-too decent, too wholesome, the very reason he became popular also the same reason he could be crucified on the national stage".
In his six years in Congress representing part of West Texas along the border with Mexico, O'Rourke largely did not ally himself with progressives, instead joining the centrist "New Democrat" coalition. In a odd response, Trump said, "I think he's got a lot of hand movement".