It didn’t take long at all for two 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to take the gloves off and go after Robert “Beto” O’Rourke.
On Thursday morning, O’Rourke announced at the crack of dawn that he’s throwing his hat in the ring and joining the already crowded 2020 Democratic field.
Almost immediately after the announcement, Democratic Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey went after O’Rourke with emails and tweets.
Harris sent out a fundraising email to supporters on Thursday and begged people for money so she can defeat O’Rourke in the Democratic presidential primary.
“We are facing something unprecedented: a record number of Democrats — including a record number of women and people of color — are running for President,” Harris wrote. “This is greatly encouraging for the future of our country, but there is still a long path ahead of us.”
Kamala Harris welcomes Beto O'Rourke to the #2020 primary field with a fundraising email. pic.twitter.com/HG3x8vFOrz
— OpenSecrets.org (@OpenSecretsDC) March 14, 2019
Her opening remark takes dead aim at O’Rourke, who has the Democratic curse of death: he’s a straight white man.
“I look forward to engaging in substantive debates with each of these candidates — including the newest to join the race today, Beto O’Rourke — and ultimately selecting a Democratic nominee who will take on and beat Donald Trump in November of 2020,” Harris continued.
Harris’ takes another shot at O’Rourke later in the email, arguing that she knows what it takes to “run a winning campaign.”
This is another jab at O’Rourke for losing his Senate race in Texas last year to Sen. Ted Cruz.
Booker’s team also wasted little time going after O’Rourke.
While Booker claims that he will run his campaign on “unity” and “love,” he has hired several people who are not afraid to get dirty.
Booker’s people sent out a tweet of their own on Thursday that was undoubtedly designed to undercut O’Rourke’s message.
The New Jersey lawmaker recently hired Julie McClain Downey, a former EMILY’s List and Hillary Clinton staffer, to serve as his director of state communications.
She went right after O’Rourke, writing on Twitter that if voters want a young candidate, Booker is the guy for them.
Want to support a young, charismatic candidate with a vision for a better, more unified country? A candidate who has dedicated his life to social change & improving his community? Who has also run a major city? I've got the candidate for you: https://t.co/bl9dofmAny #TeamCory
— Julie McClain Downey (@McClainJulie) March 14, 2019
It’s pretty clear that Harris and Booker are worried about Beto despite the fact that he hasn’t held public office for quite some time and couldn’t even win his last election.