President TrumpDonald John TrumpGary Cohn says Trump trade adviser the only economist in world who believes in tariffs House transportation committee chairman threatens to subpoena Boeing, FAA communication Pentagon sets new limits on transgender service members MORE on Thursday mocked Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeO'Rourke to announce White House run Thursday morning: report Democratic Florida mayor launching 2020 presidential exploratory committee Conservative group targets O'Rourke in new ad amid 2020 speculation MORE's "crazy" hand movements after the former Texas congressman announced his bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
"I think he's got a lot of hand movement," Trump said when asked in the Oval Office about O'Rourke entering the race.
"I've never seen so much hand movement. I said, 'Is he crazy or is that just the way he acts?'" added Trump, who is himself known to be expressive with his hands during campaign rallies and other events.
Trump referenced a video of O'Rourke campaigning in Iowa, where the candidate waved and shook his hands emphatically as he spoke.
“I've actually never seen anything quite like it,” Trump said. “Study it. I’m sure you'll agree.”
The president declined to say whether he viewed O'Rourke or former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenO'Rourke strongly signals he's entering Dem primary in Vanity Fair interview Pollster says Dem primary candidates need to portray themselves as vehicles for change Pollster sees 'potential upside' for Harris in 2020 polling MORE as a stronger opponent in 2020. Biden has yet to announce whether he'll run for president again, but he is widely expected to do so.
"Whoever it is, I'll take him or her on," Trump said.
O'Rourke officially announced his candidacy for president in a video published Thursday morning, ending months of speculation and joining a steadily growing field of presidential hopefuls.
“This is a defining moment of truth for this country and every single one of us,” O'Rourke said.
I am running to serve you as the next president. The challenges we face are the greatest in living memory. No one person can meet them on their own. Only this country can do that, and only if we build a movement that includes all of us. Say you're in: https://t.co/EKLdkVET2u pic.twitter.com/lainXyvG2n— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) March 14, 2019
The El Paso Democrat joins Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenO'Rourke strongly signals he's entering Dem primary in Vanity Fair interview Panel urges UK to establish competition regulator for tech companies Pollster sees 'potential upside' for Harris in 2020 polling MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisO'Rourke strongly signals he's entering Dem primary in Vanity Fair interview Pollster sees 'potential upside' for Harris in 2020 polling Female candidates scrutinized more than men on likability, says pollster MORE (D-Calif.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Manafort sentenced to total of 7.5 years in prison Dems offer bill to end tax break for investment-fund managers Hillicon Valley: Google takes heat at privacy hearing | 2020 Dems to debate 'monopoly power' | GOP rips net neutrality bill | Warren throws down gauntlet over big tech | New scrutiny for Trump over AT&T merger MORE (D-Minn.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerO'Rourke strongly signals he's entering Dem primary in Vanity Fair interview New Jersey Dems tell Pentagon not to use military funds for border wall Conservatives accuse Warren of hypocrisy over comment on school admission scandal MORE (D-N.J.) and Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSenate breaks with Trump on Saudi-led war in Yemen O'Rourke strongly signals he's entering Dem primary in Vanity Fair interview Pollster says Dem primary candidates need to portray themselves as vehicles for change MORE (I-Vt.), among others, in seeking the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination.
O'Rourke served three terms in Congress before an unsuccessful bid to unseat Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzO'Rourke to announce White House run Thursday morning: report O'Rourke strongly signals he's entering Dem primary in Vanity Fair interview Texas Dems warn of 'land grab' if Trump's emergency order survives MORE (R-Texas) last year. O'Rourke is a fundraising stalwart and has earned praise from former Obama advisers, Oprah Winfrey and a couple congressional Democrats.
White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley corrected Fox News anchors during an appearance on "America's Newsroom" on Thursday by noting that O'Rourke's given name is Robert Francis. He suggested the president would deploy that as a line of attack on the trail.
"He's called him that before on the campaign trail, and why wouldn't he? That's his name," Gidley said.