Robert “Beto” O’Rourke has been accused of enjoying a “set of privileges” that other candidates do not have.
And the 2020 Democratic presidential contender agrees.
While campaigning in Conway, New Hampshire on Thursday, O’Rourke was asked if he believed what Democrat Andrew Gillum said about his “privileges” when making the decision to run for president.
“There’s no doubt that O’Rourke enjoys a set of privileges in his decision-making that other candidates don’t,” the former Tallahassee mayor and Florida gubernatorial candidate told The New York Times. “Can you imagine it for any of the women that are in the race for president or considering a run?”
“They probably could not muse out loud, or in the recesses of their mind have these sorts of conversations and then say them out loud, and think it would be taken seriously or they would be taken seriously,” he added.
When asked by a reporter if he thought the comment was true, O’Rourke said simply, “yes.”
“Do you care to elaborate?” the reporter asked.
“As a white man in this country, there are a set of circumstances that are different than they are for women, than there are for people of color,” the former Texas congressman replied.
“We won’t become the country that we’re supposed to be, we won’t fulfill our promise until opportunity is shared equally, regardless of differences of gender, of race, of country of national origin, of how long your family’s been here, or whether your family just got here yesterday,” he added. “That’s — that’s the promise of America.”
This is not the first time the failed Texas Senate candidate has acknowledged that he is privileged since launching his 2020 campaign last week. A few days into the race, he was already issuing an apology for being misogynistic and sexist after a joke at his wife’s expense on the campaign trail.
Beto O’Rourke apologizes for ‘offensive’ gaffe about his wife he made on the campaign trail https://t.co/N4Tp3rkanz
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 16, 2019
“I’ll be more thoughtful going forward in the way that I talk about our marriage,” O’Rourke said during a podcast interview, adding the promise that he would be more thoughtful in “the way in which I acknowledge the truth of the criticism that I have enjoyed white privilege.”
O’Rourke, who raised more than $6.1 million in one day following his campaign announcement, also spoke about his advantages as a white man in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” in which he declared that “I would never begin by saying I’m at any disadvantage at all.”
“As a white man who has had privileges that others could not depend on or take for granted, I’ve clearly had advantages over the course of my life,” he continued. “I think recognizing that and understanding that others have not, doing everything I can to ensure that there is opportunity and the possibility for advancement and advantage for everyone is a big part of this campaign and a big part of the people who comprise this campaign.”
Gillum told the New York Times that O’Rourke “recognizes that there is privilege that accompanies him here.”
“That doesn’t make him less deserving of consideration, it’s just something that has to be acknowledged,” Gillum said. “I think over the course of this race, we will — and America will — discover what Beto O’Rourke’s views are. And I think he’ll be measured on that.”
And America still waits to learn what those “views” actually are, with even Democrats asking when the 46-year-old candidate will unveil some of his policy stands.
Beto on the spot as Dem activist asks: ‘When are we going to get an actual policy from you?’ https://t.co/vkB2B7RBfo
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 19, 2019
Meanwhile, O’Rourke’s acknowledgment of his white privilege again sparked plenty of reaction on Twitter.
Wow what an insight
— america is islamophobic (@hannahtraining) March 21, 2019
It shouldnt be a focus at all.
— Deplorable ❌ Bastard (@MrPatriotNYC) March 21, 2019
This is the second time I’m seeing Beto expounding the point. I bet someone else will ask him again as this’s becoming a Beto issue. It’s up to him to move on or dwell on it.
— YouInMyEye (@TwitchedAtBirth) March 21, 2019
This guy can’t stop pandering.
— Frank (@Frank0301) March 21, 2019
At least he isn’t pretending to be Mexican anymore. Lol
— Misa Franco (@misafrancoO) March 22, 2019
Does anyone really pay attention anymore when a liberal plays the race card, or is it just background noise?
— p4333 (@Glennon1961) March 21, 2019
Cool story. If only he had a policy to change it…
— Reality ??? (@Reality01353528) March 21, 2019
Watching this vacuous campaign fizzle will be one of the better things this cycle
— L. Ron Hoyabembe (@irish_christ) March 22, 2019
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