Top Obama Fundraiser Likely To Back Beto O’Rourke, Report Says

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke speaks during a meet and greet at Plymouth State College.
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Mark Gallogly, a major Democratic fundraiser who helped former President Barack Obama raise money in 2008 and 2012, is likely to back Beto O’Rourke in 2020, according to a new report from CNBC.

Gallogly, a co-founder of investment firm Centerbridge Partners, is signaling to associates that he is looking to stump for the Texas Democrat, according to individuals briefed on the matter. A major bundler, he helped Obama’s campaign raise between $200,000 to $500,000 in 2008, and at least $500,000 four years later.

O’Rourke has been compared to Obama, and he has also met with the former president to discuss his recently-launched presidential campaign.

Obama praised O’Rourke for making “a connection with a sizable portion of the country” much like he had in 2008. “We’ve got a number of people who are thinking about the race who I think fall in that same category,” the former president added.

But Gallogly is not the first Obama backer to jump on the O’Rourke bandwagon. Former U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom Louis Susman also pledged to help the Texas Democrat raise money. Prior to becoming ambassador, Susman raised half a million for Obama’s 2008 campaign.

It comes as no surprise that major fundraisers are rallying behind O’Rourke, given that there appear to be striking similarities between the two. It remains to be seen, however, how O’Rourke’s centrist voting record and refusal to embrace progressive policies will fare in the 2020 Democratic primaries — the majority of candidates appear to be to O’Rourke’s left, and to the party base’s right.

The vast majority of Americans — Democrats, in particular — support progressive policies such as free college tuition and socialized healthcare, polls have consistently shown, according to Jacobin.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, analyses of O’Rourke’s voting record have shown that he frequently votes like a Republican. The Texas Democrat has, for instance, supported the Trump administration’s harsh immigration policies and voted for bills boosting the fossil fuel industry.

O’Rourke has also refused to endorse Medicare for All, endorsing instead “Medicare for America” — a plan introduced last year by Rosa DeLauro and Jan Schakowsky which would preserve private health insurance and require most Americans to pay premiums and similar costs, according to Vox.

Beto O’Rourke has also been criticized for seemingly launching a light-on-policy campaign. “When are we going to get an actual policy from you, instead of just platitudes and nice stories?” an audience member asked O’Rourke during a campaign stop at Penn State, as per reporting from RealClearPolitics.

“I’m going to try to be specific as I can. I’ve mentioned our criminal justice system, I’ve called for the end of the prohibition of marijuana and the expungement of the arrest records of everyone who’s been arrested for marijuana… On healthcare, I’ve talked about a universal guarantee for high-quality healthcare,” the Texas Democrat responded.

Nevertheless, O’Rourke’s base is growing and enthusiastic.

As CNN reported, O’Rourke raised more than $6 million online in the first 24 hours after announcing his campaign, averaging $47 per donation.