DES MOINES, iowa — Update 10:45 p.m. Gov. Steve Bullock took the stage at 11:12 p.m. Central time. He was mistakenly introduced as New Jersey Sen. Corey Booker, but someone grabbed the live mic and introduced him.
Bullock thanked the crowd for staying for the "keynote speaker" and said he's made 89 stops in Iowa.
“I may be the underdog in this race. being a Democrat in Montana I know what it’s like to be an underdog," he said.
Bullock then took after President Trump several times, saying he needs the boot. He spoke for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Last up: @stevebullock takes stage @ 11:11p to largely empty arena with his supporters repping w/ “give Trump the boot” shirts, boot signs, & homemade letter cutouts lit up reading “Bullock 2020” & “Give Trump The Boot.” He joked & thanked ppl for saying for “keynote”speech #LJ19 pic.twitter.com/hcCrVfXvM8— Noah Gray (@NoahGrayCNN) November 2, 2019
More than a dozen Democratic presidential candidates, including Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, are in Des Moines, Iowa, Thursday night for key campaign event.
The Liberty and Justice Fundraiser offers the biggest launching pad for Democratic presidential candidates hoping to electrify their campaigns in the run up to the Feb. 3 Iowa caucus.
With three months to go, the time for a breakout moment is dwindling, and campaigns are looking for a boost at Iowa's signature fundraiser.
Leading up to the event, the campaigns hosted block parties and flew in celebrity endorsers to impress potential donors and voters.
The event is at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, where the leading Democrats will try to wow an estimated crowd of 13,000 people - hoping to create the kind of moment that helped propel Barack Obama to the White House..
Obama’s impassioned speech at the 2007 event was considered to be the turning point in his campaign.
Strategists know all too well, what's at stake.
"If they don't do well here, and by doing well, if they aren't in the top 2 or 3, it's over for them," Matt Paul, the Iowa state director of Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign, told CBS News.
Bullock's campaign was holding a "Grassroots Summit" Friday, designed to connect with and train Bullock supporters to organize in their communities.
Before the gathering started, Bullock also hostied a pre-event rally that features his familiar theme, calling on Iowans to caucus for a candidate who can actually beat President Donald Trump.
Thirteen candidates will take the stage, with Mayor Pete Buttigieg up first, followed by Vice President Joe Biden.
Bullock will the last candidate to take the stage. That order was decided by a random drawing held two weeks ago.
So is having the last word tonight an advantage for Bullock ?
Bullock's campaign describes his speech as the "keynote address of this event," although that might be a stretch.
One expected candidate who will be a no-show: Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke, who pulled the plug on his presidential bid earlier Friday.
O'Rourke announced his decision on his website late Friday afternoon, saying his service to the country "will not be as a candidate or as the nominee".