O’Rourke Apologizes to Staff for Being ‘Giant A**hole’

O'Rourke in the Huddle / HBO
• May 28, 2019 9:25 am


Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke thanked his campaign staff for putting up with him, even when he could be a "giant asshole."

In a clip released Tuesday by the Daily Beast from an upcoming documentary, the candidate gathers his Senate campaign team on election night in November 2018.

The then-congressman from Texas's 16th Congressional District had hoped to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas). His race, historically close, broke in Cruz's favor.

On election night, facing thousands of supporters and preparing to concede the election, O'Rourke gathered his wife and senior campaign staff in a hallway huddle.

He thanked the group for "never allow[ing] my shortcomings to get in the way of running the best campaign this state has ever seen."

"I know I was a giant asshole to be around sometimes," he said as the camera showed his staff members. No one interrupted to suggest otherwise.

The documentary, Running With Beto, premieres Tuesday night on HBO.

Describing the film, Daily Beast reporter Marlow Stern writes how "Beto comes off as charismatic yet controlling." He describes a scene in which O'Rourke, on camera, is "seen dressing down his clearly overworked staff for their perceived lack of preparedness."

According to Stern, O'Rourke criticizes his road manager for falling behind schedule, failure to prepare, and insufficient time for media interviews. The staffer, in contrast, "views Beto's penchant for going long in his speeches and wanting to speak with every single constituent and/or person with a microphone as the reason for his constant tardiness and lack of prep time."

Describing the scene, Stern describes O'Rourke's behavior as "the more likely culprit."

In March, O'Rourke announced a campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination to run against President Donald Trump in 2020.