Beto O’Rourke has been back on his heels in recent weeks for a campaign roll out criticized — by Democrats and Republicans alike — as the epitome of white male privilege.
The video announcing his candidacy was widely mocked for its apparent use of his wife as a prop, who sat next to him, silent and smiling, the whole time he spoke to the camera. And on Sunday, O’Rourke was again called out for tone-deaf remarks that reflected a particularly male lived experience — one in which doors are open to any potential opportunity.
Speaking on NBC’s Meet the Press, presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar addressed remarks O’Rourke made to Vanity Fair before he had officially launched his campaign. “I’m just born to be in it,” he told the magazine, referring to the presidential race. Vanity Fair subsequently splashed his cocksure statement across its front cover.
“Oh, that’s the Beto line,” Klobuchar said when asked about it on the Sunday morning news program. “No, I wasn’t born to run for office, just because growing up in the ’70s, in the middle of the country, I don’t think many people thought a girl could be president.”
“I wasn’t born to run,” Klobuchar added. “But I am running.”
WATCH: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) talked to Chuck Todd while campaigning in Waterloo, Iowa and responded to Beto O'Rourke's claim that he was "born to run."@amyklobuchar: "I wasn't born to run. But I am running." #MTP pic.twitter.com/gCVn47OLxS
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) March 16, 2019
O’Rourke has since insisted he knows that he benefits from the privilege that comes with being a man — not to mention from other types of privilege involving boarding schools and run-ins with the law that didn’t result in jail time. After making a joke about how his wife takes care of their kids so he can run for president, he apologized in an interview on a podcast last weekend.
“Yeah, it’s absolutely valid criticism,” he said of the backlash. “It has already made me a better candidate. Not only will I not say that again, but I’ll be much more thoughtful going forward in the way that I talk about our marriage. And also the way in which I acknowledge the truth of the criticism that I have enjoyed white privilege — absolutely. Undeniable.”
Read more at U.S. News & World Report.