Former Texas legislator Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke announced Thursday that he would run for the Democratic 2020 presidential nomination, as The Inquisitr reported, calling it “a defining moment of truth for this country and for every single one of us.” But Donald Trump responded by calling O’Rourke “crazy” due to his “hand movement.”
“I think he has got a lot of hand movement, I’ve never seen so much hand movement. I said, ‘Is he crazy or is that just the way he acts?'” Trump said to a group of reporters at the White House on Thursday morning, according to The Washington Times. “I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Study it, I’m sure you will agree.”
Trump’s statement drew an immediate and puzzled response from the media, with CNN correspondent Jeremy Diamond noting via Twitter that “few politicians” have been as noteworthy for expressive hand movements as Trump himself. Diamond called Trump’s criticism of the 46-year-old O’Rourke “a strange one.”
Another Twitter user mocked Trump as a “delusional fool,” saying that if Trump watched video of his own speeches, he would see that his own hand movements are “very dainty.”
Trump said that he was struck by O’Rourke’s hand movements when he watched the newly announced candidate on television earlier Thursday morning.
In fact, as far back as the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump became known for his hand movements. Bloomberg News said that at one campaign rally Trump “unleashed so many hand gestures and motions that we lost count.”
But Bloomberg compiled the Trump hand movements into a video, complete with interpretations of what each gesture might symbolize for Trump and his supporters.
An obscure Texas congressional House rep from El Paso until 2018, O’Rourke gained prominence as a national political figure last year when he ran a Senate campaign against incumbent Republican Ted Cruz. Texas has not elected a Democratic senator in 30 years, as The Inquisitr reported.
But after a two-year campaign during which he reportedly made stops in all 254 Texas counties, O’Rourke narrowly lost to Cruz by about three percentage points, as Politico reported at the time. But his electoral performance in the heavily Republican state was enough to launch O’Rourke as a national political figure — and potential Democratic candidate to run against Trump in 2020.
Trump appears to consider O’Rourke a threat worthy of his attention. He has attacked O’Rourke before, even prior to the Texan’s presidential announcement. In February — when O’Rourke and Trump headlined political rallies in El Paso on the same night — Trump went out of his way to denigrate the size of the crowd at O’Rourke’s rally, as The Inquisitr reported, claiming that O’Rourke had attracted only “200, 300” people.
In fact, local law enforcement put the size of O’Rourke’s crowd at approximately 7,000, according to The Texas Tribune.