Former congressman and 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke expressed regret for recently joking that his wife, Amy, raises their children “sometimes with my help.”
“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, and also the way in which I acknowledge the truth of the criticism that I have enjoyed white privilege,” the Texas Democrat said during a “Political Party LIVE!” podcast taping on Friday in Iowa, CNN reported.
O’Rouke made the remark about his family while speaking to a crowd at a coffee shop on Thursday, sparking a mix of laughter and criticism on the same day he announced his run.
Beto tells a coffee shop crowd that he just talked with his wife, Amy. “She is raising, sometimes with my help,” their three kids. Then says he’s running for president for his kids, and theirs.
— Matt Viser (@mviser) March 14, 2019
Beto O’Rourke gets laughs in Washington, IA for saying his wife is raising their kids “sometimes with my help” in El Paso. pic.twitter.com/9V7uHchVwE
— Alex Seitz-Wald (@aseitzwald) March 15, 2019
O’Rourke admitted that his critics were “right on” for his “ham-handed attempt to try to highlight the fact that Amy has the lion’s share of the burden in our family.”
However, before O’Rourke even made the initial comment, his campaign announcement video was already raising eyebrows. The clip posted on Twitter showed Amy sitting quietly at his side, having virtually no role in the video other than staring at him with a smile as he spoke about his Oval Office ambitions.
Still, O’Rourke vowed during the podcast to “do everything within my power to do my part” in increasing opportunities for women, noting that “we have a long way to go.”
“Much of it will be guided by the women in my life and the people whom I meet,” he said.