Beto O'Rourke regrets Vanity Fair campaign launch

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke said Tuesday that he regrets his decision to launch his 2020 presidential campaign with a Vanity Fair cover story. He called the cover a “mistake,” saying that it “reinforces that perception of privilege” that he believes has haunted his campaign. 

The Democratic candidate appeared on an episode of “The View” Tuesday morning for his first daytime television interview since launching his campaign two months ago. Co-host Meghan McCain called him out for his Vanity Fair profile — she said she felt a female candidate would not be able to get away with some of the things O’Rourke said.

“I want to be in it,” he told the magazine on the eve of his campaign announcement in March. “Man, I’m just born to be in it and want to do everything I humanly can for this country at this moment.”

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“I was attempting to say that I felt that my calling was in public service,” O’Rourke said Tuesday about the controversial cover quote. “No one is born to be President of the United States of America, least of all me.” 

The hosts also pressed him on comments he’s repeatedly made about being a part-time dad, “sometimes” helping his wife Amy care for their children. “In a real ham-handed way, I was trying to acknowledge that she has the lion’s share of the responsibility during this campaign,” O’Rourke said.

O’Rourke also discussed some of his policies during his appearance on “The View.” He strongly supports legislation to put young undocumented immigrants, known as DREAMers, on a pathway to U.S. citizenship and is a harsh critic of the Trump administration’s immigration policies. “We’re not going to put kids in cages — we’re not going to deport their moms,” he said. “We are going to do everything within our power to reunite those families who have been separated.”

O’Rourke is in the midst of trying to reinvigorate his campaign — his poll numbers have dropped as South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg has gained popularity and Former Vice President Joe Biden entered the race, boosting the number of candidates to nearly two dozen. “I really want to make sure that this campaign is for everyone,” O’Rourke said. “I think we’re all sick of being divided.”

Referring to President Trump’s “Crazy Hands” nickname for himself and name-calling towards other candidates, O’Rourke said, “We cannot descend into more of that division, and bitterness and hatred and racism that so defines that man in his presidency.” 

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