The Latest: O’Rourke still not saying whether he’s running

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the Democratic contenders for president (all times local):
3 p.m.

A documentary released Saturday about Beto O’Rourke‘s near-upset of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz contains no hints about his 2020 plans — and the candidate himself was just as coy after its screening.

O’Rourke attended the premiere of “Running with Beto” at the South By Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas, with his wife and daughter.

Afterward, O’Rourke repeated that he’s made up his mind about running for president and plans to let everyone know soon.

The documentary will air on HBO and was cobbled together from 700 hours of Texas Senate campaign footage.

O’Rourke briefly took questions from reporters afterward but provided no details on when he’ll announce his next move. He called seeing the documentary “very emotional.”


12:50 p.m.

Sen. Bernie Sanders has told a packed house in Des Moines that as president his power to reform industries and institutions would be limited, but he’d still fulfill his campaign promises with their support.

Sanders said “no president, not the best-intentioned in the world, can take on those extraordinarily powerful forces.” He went on to say: “But we have something they don’t have — we have the people!”

The crowd packed into the Animal Learning Center on the Iowa State Fairgrounds roared their approval of Sanders, who is making another run for the Democratic nomination. Many were decked out in his 2016 campaign gear or waved “IA loves Bernie” signs.

About 50 volunteers showed up to support the Vermont senator at the final stop of his three-day swing through the state, part of an Iowa volunteer force that Sanders said already totals 7,000.
“We need you to add to that number!” he said, to roars from the crowd.


12:35 p.m.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota isn’t calling for a breakup of the biggest U.S. technology companies like one of her Democratic presidential rivals, Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Klobuchar on Saturday was the first of several 2020 candidates to speak at the tech-centric South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. Asked if Google or Facebook should be broken up, Klobuchar said she would first want an investigation.

Warren is also scheduled to appear at SXSW. On Friday, the Massachusetts senator said that as president she would pick regulators who would seek to break up what she called “anti-competitive mergers.” One example is Facebook’s recent purchase of Instagram.

But Klobuchar criticized big tech in a city rapidly transformed by the industry. She said tech companies didn’t like her efforts to improve disclosure requirements for online political ads and floated the idea of taxing social media companies when they sell personal data.


11:50 a.m.

Sen. Kamala Harris says she’s committed to shoring up rural communities, a message the Democratic presidential hopeful is sharing with voters in some of the most sparsely populated parts of the early voting state of South Carolina.

The California senator told a crowd of several hundred gathered in tiny St. George, South Carolina, on Saturday morning that a national infrastructure of crumbling roads and bridges makes it difficult for people in communities like this one to get to their jobs, which may be miles and miles away.

Harris also says she wants to make changes to rural hospital funding, tweaks that she hopes will lead fewer health care facilities in such areas to close.

On Friday, Harris shared a similar message with voters in Hemingway, a tiny community of about 500.


9:30 a.m.

Texas is an unlikely can’t-miss stop for the Democratic presidential candidates, but many of them are making appearances this weekend at the trendy and techie South by Southwest Festival in Austin.

Texas is an early primary state, but the real draw of the event for Democrats is the chance to spend time with the party’s ascendant young and liberal wing.

Beto O’Rourke, a former Texas congressman, is expected to attend the premiere of a documentary film chronicling his longshot U.S. Senate campaign last year. It ended in a narrow loss to the Republican incumbent, Ted Cruz.

O’Rourke hasn’t said yet whether he’s in or out of the 2020 White House race.

First up on Saturday at the festival are two senators who are running — Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

By Associated Press