AP

O’Rourke: Being White Male Doesn’t Put Me At Disadvantage

Mar 16, 2019, 7:44 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 5:14 pm
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke greets voters during a canvassing kickoff event with state senate candidate Eric Giddens March 16, 2019 in Waterloo, Iowa. After losing a long-shot race for U.S. Senate to Ted Cruz (R-TX), the 46-year-old O'Rourke is making his first campaign swing through Iowa after jumping into a crowded Democratic field this week. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
(R-TX)

Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke said Saturday that being a white man in a 2020 Democratic field that’s so deeply diverse won’t be a hindrance because his gender and race have given him inherent advantages for years.

While he’d spoken before about his gender and race, O’Rourke had largely dodged campaign-trail questions about whether his party would go for a white man in a year when a historic number of women and minorities are running to deny President Donald Trump a second term.

“I would never begin by saying that it’s a disadvantage at all,” O’Rourke told reporters in a parking lot in Waterloo, after giving a speech at the campaign kickoff for state Senate candidate Eric Giddens. “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.”

The former Texas congressman was making a series of stops in Iowa, the state that kicks off the presidential nominating process. Also campaigning Saturday were Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and former Vice President Joe Biden.

O’Rourke called recognizing and understand that and “doing everything I can to ensure that there is opportunity, and the possibility for advancement and advantage for everyone,” a big part of the campaign he’s running.

O’Rourke said he believes the Democrats seeking the White House in 2020 encompass “the best field that we’ve ever seen in the nominating process,” praising its “diversity of background and experience” and expertise.

He had already said he’d stop making a joke he’d frequently repeated about how his wife, Amy, raising the couple’s three young children “sometimes with my help.” O’Rourke said that he’d discussed scrapping the joke with Amy and, while she said she understood he was trying to not that she was “taking on the lion’s share” of parenting responsibilities, “it came off sounding a little flip.”

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O’Rourke: Being White Male Doesn’t Put Me At Disadvantage