Beto O'Rourke, no longer the shiny new candidate, says he's still 'in a good place'

CONCORD, N.H. -- Beto O’Rourke isn’t the shiny new thing anymore in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Indeed, the media spotlight and the momentum appear to have shifted in recent weeks to South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, whose candidacy has surged over the past month.


But O'Rourke, a former three-term congressman from El Paso, Texas, says he's not fretting.

“I feel great,” he told Fox News on Thursday. “I feel like we’re in a good place.”

He added: “I think more than any other candidate, we’ve been showing up answering questions. I think we’ve answered nearly 600 questions so far in a little bit more than a month. Have visited more communities. That’s what I want to do. That’s democracy.”

O’Rourke spoke with Fox News during stops in Derry and Concord, N.H., making his second trip since launching his campaign to the state with the first primary in the race for the White House.


O’Rourke was soaring in the polls and was posting eye-popping fundraising figures as he basked in generous media attention and large crowds on the campaign trail in the weeks after he declared his candidacy in last month.

But even if the sheen has diminished to some degree, O’Rourke remains a draw on the campaign trail. Derry’s Grind Rail Trail Cafe was packed with voters eager to get a look at the former congressman, who nearly upset Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas last year. And a crowd of a couple of hundred watched him at Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord, a key stop for Democratic White House hopefuls.

“We show up for everyone. We take no one for granted,” he told the audience.

In an interview after the event, O’Rourke pointed to the calendar, emphasizing that “we’re still roughly 10 months out from the first votes being cast. And that’s a lot of time, a lot of miles, a lot of hours, a lot of town halls, a lot of questions, and I’m up for it and I’m looking forward to it.”

He discounted early polling, saying, “I just am not concerned about, nor am I following, the polls. You may know that throughout the Senate campaign we never hired a pollster or participated in a focus group.”

O’Rourke raised more than $9 million in the 18 days from the launch of his campaign through March 31, which was the end of the first quarter of fundraising. Asked if he can keep up that pace in the second quarter, he noted that “there are more people who have given to us (in last year’s Senate campaign) that can give for the first time in this race, or who can give additional amounts. I think that speaks to our ability for capacity and pace.”

He said he'll tap his nascent campaign war chest to increase staff in New Hampshire and other early-voting states, and “use that money doing what we’re doing here, ensuring that we have an ability to show up everywhere, in every part of every state that we go to.”


O’Rourke’s trip to the Granite State came days before a likely presidential announcement by onetime Vice President Joe Biden.

O’Rourke said Biden “would be a great addition to an already outstanding field of Democratic contenders. He certainly brings something to the conversation, to the debates.”

Ahead of O'Rourke's arrival in New Hampshire, the Republican National Committee painted him as one more too-liberal Democrat supporting fringe proposals.

"Beto’s socialist schemes would kill jobs, hike taxes and reverse our country’s roaring economic success," RNC spokesperson Mandi Merritt told Fox News.