According to The Washington Post, the two linked up on Nov. 16 at Obama’s Washington D.C. offices, as a result of Obama’s aides putting the heat on him to have a sit down with O’Rourke and capitalize at the height of his popularity.
O’Rourke went viral earlier this year with a passionate defense of NFL players who have decided to kneel during the national anthem to protest police brutality. He is also a stern supporter of higher quality healthcare for women of color. And the congressman’s record in the House is progressive and rarely aligns with the Trump administration’s agenda. He’s even been likened to Obama.
“Impressive young man who ran a terrific race in Texas,” Obama said in a taping of The Axe Files, a podcast produced by the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and CNN.
He continued: “What I liked most about his race was that it didn’t feel constantly poll-tested,” Obama said. “It felt as if he based his statements and his positions on what he believed. And that, you’d like to think, is normally how things work. Sadly it’s not.”
And like many others, Obama compared O’Rourke to himself too.
“The reason I was able to make a connection with a sizable portion of the country was because people had a sense that I said what I meant,” he said. “What I oftentimes am looking for first and foremost is, do you seem to mean it?”
Last month O’Rourke lost to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and although he has said he doesn’t intend to run for the Presidency, he also noted last week that he and his wife had “made a decision not to rule anything out.”