Beto O'Rourke Regrets Vanity Fair Cover: 'It Reinforces That Perception of Privilege'

May 14, 2019

Beto O'Rourke, the former congressman who married a real-estate heiress and lost a Senate race to Ted Cruz, among other things, is trying to run for president. It's not going very well.

O'Rourke has tumbled in the polls since launching his campaign in March, and his recent press coverage has been brutal.

Politico Magazine published an article entitled "Beto's Long History of Failing Upward," and various other outlets have focused on his campaign's shortcomings and his own status as a privileged white male.

These headlines are a far cry from the Vanity Fair cover story (and Annie Leibovitz photo shoot) that accompanied his campaign announcement.

During an appearance on The View on Tuesday, the candidate said he regretted the Vanity Fair cover, in particular his comments about being "born to be in it," and acknowledged that he has a long way to go when it comes to reckoning with his while male privilege. "No one is born to be president of the United States of America, least of all me," O'Rourke said.

The Vanity Fair cover "reinforce[d] that perception of privilege," the candidate said when asked by co-host Joy Behar whether he considered it a "mistake" that came across as "elitist." O'Rourke said that acknowledging his own privilege was key to addressing the ""systematic foundational discrimination" in this country.

"There are things that I have been privileged to do in my life that others cannot," he said. "And I think the more that I travel and listen to people and learn from them, the clearer that becomes to me."

The View hosts also pressed O'Rourke to once again apologize for his flippant jokes about being a "part-time dad" on the campaign trail, while his wife, Amy, takes care of their three children.