Updated at 3:25 p.m.: Revised with O’Rourke comments in Burlington, Iowa. BURLINGTON, Iowa — Beto O’Rourke kicked off his presidential bid Thursday with a relentlessly upbeat pitch for Americans to look past their divisions — paired with tough words for the man he hopes to replace, President Donald Trump.”We have a commander in chief who … doesn’t believe in the institutions that he is sworn to protect and serve, and to defend,” he told as many as 200 Iowans packed into a coffeehouse in downtown Burlington, on the banks of the Mississippi.He’d climbed up onto the counter beside the cash register and a platter of muffins for all to see, a vision of vigor that may stand him apart from some of his toughest competitors, among them Bernie Sanders and, quite likely, Joe Biden, both septuagenarians.O’Rourke spent a half-hour up there, pitching himself as something of a post-partisan, even as he ticked off a litany of progressive stances: legalized marijuana, expanded health care, a welcoming immigration policy, and the Green New Deal to fight climate change. He decried the GOP tax cuts and Trump’s approach to the presidency.He treated Iowans as if he were one of them, as when one asked about tariffs and he replied… Read full this story
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