In the midst of a reset of his stalled-out presidential campaign, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) acknowledged Tuesday morning on The View that the splashy Vanity Fair feature kicking off his 2020 run reinforced a “perception of privilege” and was a “mistake.”
A day after telling MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that he can “do a better job” as he attempts to reignite his campaign as he’s seen his poll numbers plummet with the widening of the Democratic field, the one-time Senate hopeful was pressed on the way he initially began his run.
“You did a Vanity Fair cover to announce your campaign and you said you were, quote, born to be in it,” conservative co-host Meghan McCain said. “You went across the country alone on a road trip after you lost your election and you said you, quote, sometimes help raise your kids.”
She added: “These are things in my mind that a female candidate wouldn’t be able to get away with. Do you think you can get away with more because you’re a man, and do you have any regrets about launching on the cover of Vanity Fair?”
O’Rourke conceded McCain’s point, adding that there were things he’d been “privileged to do” in his life and that he’d had “advantages that others could not enjoy.” After listing off the ways he could “help correct that,” the former congressman said he had his work cut out for him to “be a better person” and be “more mindful to the experiences that others have had different than the experiences” he’s had.
“Are those mistakes?” liberal co-host Joy Behar asked. “Would you say those are mistakes, being on the cover of Vanity Fair? It looks elitist?”
“Yeah, I think it reinforces that perception of privilege and that headline that said I was born to be in this, in the article I was attempting to say that I felt that my calling was in public service,” O’Rourke responded. “No one is born to be President of the United States of America, least of all me.”
Behar then pressed O’Rourke about his joke that he was a part-time dad, something that was met with widespread criticism.
“You got some flack for that one,” she said, prompting O’Rourke to say he “deserved it” and that it was a “ham-handed way” to acknowledge that his wife had the “lion’s share of the responsibility during this campaign.”
He went on to say that he spoke to his wife following those remarks and she told him that while she understood where he was coming from “the way in which you said it sounds flip” and that he was minimizing what she was doing.
“She said that VERY nicely,” co-host Sunny Hostin sarcastically noted, causing Behar to point out that it was nicer than Hostin “would have been.”