Beto O’Rourke Acknowledges White Privilege, Apologizes For Violent Writings & ‘Ham-Handed’ Remarks About Wife

Beto O'Rourke appears in a blue shirt.
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Unsuccessful Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke issued two different apologies on Friday, March 15, as he entered the earliest stages of his run for the presidency within the Democratic primaries. According to The Washington Examiner, O’Rourke was castigated by critics during his first few campaign speeches, during which he made remarks that his wife, Amy, was raising their children “sometimes with my [O’Rourke’s] help.”

Said remarks apparently did not go over well with some wings of the Democratic constituency, critics who claimed that O’Rourke’s quip could not be uttered by a female candidate. The insinuation seems to be that a social stigma persists against women who opt to eschew the role of caregiver. In a separate piece of reportage offered up by The Washington Examiner, the politicians remarks were described as “dripping with white male privilege” by CNN correspondent Nia-Malika Henderson. Not content to stop there, Henderson would go on the offensive, calling O’Rourke’s entire campaign into question.

“This is Beto O’Rourke’s navel-gazing, self-involved, rollout of a possible rollout of a possible [sic] presidential campaign. Oprah Winfrey’s couch is next… This could never, ever be a woman.”

Calling his earlier remarks made at several campaign stops “ham-handed,” and admitting that the criticism of his off-the-cuff remarks was “right on,” Beto O’Rourke promised to be more mindful of his words in the future.

“Not only will I not say that again, but I’ll be more thoughtful going forward in the way that I talk about our marriage.”

In addition to his apology to his critics over comments made about his wife, the Democratic hopeful also acknowledged criticism of his white privilege. Saying that he has “enjoyed white privilege,” per CNN, O’Rourke made concessions to his most vociferous critics, perhaps appealing to an intersectional audience.

Finally, the embattled politician apologized for violent fiction that he had written as a teenager, writings which have recently come to light as O’Rourke takes to the campaign trail. Described as an accounting of fictional events written from a killer’s point of view — per CNN — which were penned during the politicians youthful days spent as a member of a hacker collective, O’Rourke was quick to distance himself from his earlier creative work.

“[I am] mortified to read it now, incredibly embarrassed… whatever my intention was as a teenager doesn’t matter.”

The works were written under the pseudonym of Psychedelic Warlord, and were far-flung in terms of their content. One story focused on a protagonist who ran over children, while another tale was written from the perspective of a “self-proclaimed neo-Nazi,” per Reuters.