Beto O’Rourke says it was a mistake to launch his campaign with a Vanity Fair profile because it reinforced ‘that perception of privilege’

Beto O'Rourke.

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Beto O’Rourke.
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Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via Getty Images

  • Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke said he regrets launching his presidential campaign with a profile in Vanity Fair magazine.
  • O’Rourke said, “I have a lot to learn, and I still am.”
  • In the past few weeks, O’Rourke’s campaign has dropped in the polls, leading to a television blitz this week.
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Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke said Tuesday he regrets appearing on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine on the eve of his presidential campaign announcement, suggesting it could have created a cloud of elitism around his campaign.

During an appearance on the ABC’s “The View,” O’Rourke walked through criticism of the magazine profile, saying, “I have a lot to learn, and I still am.”

Read more: Beto O’Rourke is running for president in 2020. Here’s everything we know about the candidate and how he stacks up against the competition.

O’Rourke brought up a quote of his in the profile in which he said, “I’m just born to be in it,” which some criticized as being overly arrogant.

“I think it reinforces that perception of privilege,” he said. “And that headline that said I was born to be in this. In the article I was attempting to say that I felt my calling was in public service. No one is born to be president of the United States of America, least of all me.”

O’Rourke also said of his past comments about his wife taking on a larger burden of childcare responsibilities, that he was inarticulate.

“In a real ham-handed way, I was trying to acknowledge that she has the lion’s share of responsibility during this campaign,” he said.

O’Rourke’s campaign, after receiving lots of buzz and a massive fundraising haul at the beginning of his White House bid earlier this year, has somewhat sputtered in national and early voting state polls. O’Rourke had been eschewing nonstop television and media coverage while campaigning face to face with voters in a handful of states.

But starting this week, he has changed the campaign’s direction, appearing on national television networks like ABC, MSNBC, as well as a scheduled town hall event with CNN.

O’Rourke has also made several high profile hires in recent weeks, including former Barack Obama adviser Jeff Berman to oversee delegate strategy.