Beto O'Rourke

“Remember about four weeks ago, he said: ‘I was made for this,’” President Donald Trump said of Beto O’Rourke. “He was made for it. He was made to fall like a rock.” | Stephen Lam/Getty Images

2020 elections

Trump on Beto: ‘What the hell happened?’

President Donald Trump on Tuesday weighed in on Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign with a question: “What the hell happened?”

“Beto’s falling fast,” the president told a crowd at a liquified natural gas export facility in Louisiana, spending a few minutes of his speech on taking shots at the pool of Democrats hoping to challenge his claim on the White House in 2020.

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“I think we’re gonna win it big,” Trump said of the coming general election. “I’m looking at the competition. You sort of dream about competition like that.”

Trump’s comments about O’Rourke, in particular, followed the former Texas congressman’s remarks Monday and Tuesday that he would make multiple major television appearances this week — in addition to the flurry of rallies and town halls the candidate’s been hosting around the country — to reach a wider audience. Some have characterized the move as a sort of reset for O’Rourke’s campaign, which has lost some steam since launching in March.

“He’s tried to restart his campaign,” Trump told the crowd gleefully. “That generally doesn’t work out too well.”

The president also ripped on a quote in a Vanity Fair interview with O’Rourke that the Democrat had apologized for earlier Tuesday during an appearance on “The View.” The lengthy magazine story, published just before the official launch of O’Rourke’s campaign, quoted the former congressman as saying he was “born to be” in the presidential race.

In response to a question from the talk show hosts Tuesday, O’Rourke said he was talking about the call he felt to public service, adding that “no one is born to be president of the United States of America, least of all me.”

“Remember about four weeks ago, he said: ‘I was made for this,’” Trump said later in the day. “He was made for it. He was made to fall like a rock.”

A number of Democratic hopefuls — not just O’Rourke — have tweaked their campaign strategies recently, many in response to former Vice President Joe Biden’s entry into the race. Biden has been ranked a front-runner in a number of polls, and aides close to the president have said Trump sees the former vice president as the biggest threat to his hold on the White House.

In Louisiana, Trump said he didn’t know “what the hell happened to Biden,” either, echoing previous claims he’s made that Biden lacks energy.

The president went on to say that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — who comes in second place, behind the former vice president, in a number of polls — has “a lot more energy than Biden.”

“But it’s energy to get rid of your jobs,” Trump said. “He’s got the opposite energy that you produce. Not good energy, you don’t like his energy.”

And the president didn’t stop there.

“Pocahontas, I think, is probably out,” he said, referring to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), whom Trump has ridiculed over her claims to Native American heritage.

“I got Boot-edge-edge,” he said, a nod to Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind. In an interview with POLITICO last week, Trump dismissed the dark horse Democrat’s odds by comparing him to a magazine caricature: “Alfred E. Neuman cannot become president of the United States.”

The president concluded his rant on Tuesday by musing about “some beauties” in the primary race.

“Three hundred fifty million people, and that’s the best we can do,” he said. “I don’t think so. Even as Democrats, I can pick better than that.”

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