"And", she said, pointing to his potential to win his home state's 38 electoral votes, "Texas!".
But he was not able to duplicate in the presidential contest the fundraising and campaigning prowess he demonstrated in that race.
O'Rourke's campaign spent more than he collected in the third quarter - a discouraging sign at this stage - finishing with $3.2 million in the bank.
But his spontaneity - jumping on countertops, driving his own vehicle, and treks off the beaten political path - never fully translated into a meaningful presidential campaign for voters. "Because there are two things he brought into the debate that freaked out Democrats..."
Mr O'Rourke had been urged by donors to drop out of the presidential race and run against Texas Senator John Cornyn, who is up for re-election next year.
Addressing supporters in Iowa, O'Rourke said he made the decision "reluctantly" and vowed to stay active in the fight to defeat President Donald Trump. He promoted a mandatory buyback programme in which gun owners would be required to sell certain weapons back to the government.
Addressing O'Rourke's previous comment that O'Rourke believed he was "born for this", Trump responded, "I don't think so!" Trump wrote, in a reference to a quote in the Vanity Fair article.
O'Rourke did not endorse one of his Democratic competitors, nor did he announce any plans to run for another office.
The former Texas congressman went on accuse the president of "white supremacy" and said Mr Trump "encouraged" violence "against communities that don't look like, pray like or love like the majority in this country".
In August he attracted media attention when he accused US president Donald Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric for being partly responsible for an upswell of hatred and racial divisions that inspired a mass shooting that killed 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.
"I'm proud of him". "I thought he was really what this country needed and that he could give us what we needed, but apparently others didn't think so". He's not testing and polling everything he says.
While pushing the policy boundaries on topics like gun control, marijuana legalization and immigration, O'Rourke also faced scrutiny from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party for not backing policies like "Medicare for All", instead preferring Medicare for America, a policy that would keep private employee-based health care options.
The latest New York Times-Siena College poll released on Friday showed that Warren is now leading in Iowa, an early voting state, and is holding a slim lead over Sanders.
"I had a whole career in politics but nobody ever got me out to Iowa - until this guy", he said of O'Rourke. "His willingness to listen to everyone is what attracted me to listen to him".
These extremist proposals were all that distinguished O'Rourke from his opponents and their near-unanimous support for a $15-an-hour minimum wage, eliminating the Electoral College, and other proposals that only a few short years ago would have been on the fringe of the Democratic Party but are now are the consensus.
"It's so disappointing that he did this before Super Tuesday", Holliday said.
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