WASHINGTON – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she believes former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) has enough political experience to be president.
“The answer is yes,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in response to a question at a news conference on Thursday.
Pelosi said O’Rourke’s stalwart advocacy of environmental protection and the strong leadership he exhibited as a member of the House Armed Services Committee made him a key player in Congress.
Pelosi stopped short of an endorsement, saying of the 2020 Democratic field: “I think all of our candidates are great.”
O’Rourke, 46, announced his candidacy in a video posted to YouTube on Thursday.
O’Rourke served in the House of Representatives from 2013-19. Prior to that, he served six years on the El Paso City Council.
O’Rourke garnered national headlines last year after having come within three points of defeating Republican incumbent Ted Cruz in the state’s U.S. Senate race.
Some pundits have pointed to the close contest as evidence that O’Rourke might be able to carry ruby-red Texas in a presidential election. No Democratic presidential candidate has carried the state since Jimmy Carter in 1976.