Beto O’Rourke: ‘Only Joe Biden Can Beat Donald Trump’, ‘Lift Those Down-Ballot Candidates’

In a Tuesday interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) discussed his support for former Vice President Joe Biden following former South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and O’Rourke all announcing their endorsements for Biden after dropping out of the field of candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination.

After praising Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) energy and the “robust” conversation about health care he has caused during his run for the nomination, O’Rourke touted Biden as the “only” candidate who can “beat Donald Trump” and “help lift those down-ballot candidates.”

“I really do think that only Joe Biden can beat Donald Trump. I think only Joe Biden can help lift those down-ballot candidates in states like mine, in Texas,” O’Rourke told MSNBC’s Willie Geist. “It’s not just me saying that. I’ve been listening to these members of Congress, these state House reps, they want Biden at the top of the ticket. And I think only Biden has demonstrated a proven capacity to build coalitions and consensus. So, if we want to get health care for everyone, if we want to do everything to successfully confront climate change, more than the idea, more even than our followers, we’re going to need to build coalitions and relationships.”

He continued, “And Joe Biden, there’s no one better at doing that. Not only domestically and with the Congress, but think about internationally what we’re going to have to do, the coalitions we’re going to have to build. Vice President Biden has a proven track record of getting that done, so for that reason, he’s the candidate I’m supporting.”

Geist then asked O’Rourke why he does not think Sanders cannot beat Trump.

O’Rourke, appearing to contradict what he just said, replied, “I think Bernie Sanders can beat Donald Trump. And I think Bernie Sanders could be a great president and I think Elizabeth Warren can do both of those things.”

“I don’t want to define anybody in contrast to the other candidates by saying this person can only do the following things,” he added. “I just think that Joe Biden has the best chance of accomplishing those things. And I think as Democrats, we should be really careful about diminishing anybody who’s currently running because they may well be our nominee and we’re going to have to do everything to get behind them and make them successful. I just think that Biden possesses the capacity, the character, the track record to accomplish my three criteria: beating Donald Trump, helping down-ballot races and actually accomplishing a very ambitious agenda.”

Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent

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