Beto O & # 39; Rourke recognizes & # 39; privileges & # 39; awarded to him for race and gender

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March 17, 2019, 1:41 PM GMT

By Ben Kamisar

WASHINGTON – Former Rep. Beto O & Rourke said that because of his race and gender he had been given "privileges" in his life, but insisted that his presidential bid be used as a way to level the playing field for all Americans.

"As a white man who had privileges that others could not rely on or that could be taken for granted, I clearly had advantages over the course of my life," R & Rourke told the moderator during a campaign "Meet the Press ", Chuck Todd. swing on Saturday by Iowa.

"I believe that recognizing and understanding that others have not done that – do everything to ensure that there are opportunities and opportunities for progress and benefit for all – is a big part of this campaign and a big part of the people who form this campaign. "

The Texas Democrat addressed the question in light of some criticism that he had benefited from a double standard in the early days of the campaign, given the large amount of attention that his access to the crowded field has received.

The former congressman continued to praise his fellow Democratic presidential peoples as part of the & # 39; best field we have ever seen in the nomination process & # 39; and mentioned the & # 39; diversity of background and experience, expertise & # 39; an important asset for Democrats.

But he also pointed to his own experience as proof that he can stand out among a field that includes politicians with much more experience.

"I happen to be the only candidate on the border between the United States and Mexico at a time when so much of our national conversation and legislative efforts dominate and the things the president talks about. There is one candidate who can talk about the profound positive impact that immigrants have had on our safety and security, as well as on our success and our strength, "he said.

And he said that his limited loss in last year's senate race in Texas provides evidence that he can broaden the presidential playing field for Democrats.

"I ran to the entire office in what people thought was a red state, and that state has now been appreciated by most people. So there might be some things that, you know, will be different from this candidacy, from the candidacy of others. "

Although O & Rourke is the only candidate who grew up in the southern border, other candidates have made immigration a central part of their candidacy.

Julián Castro, who served as mayor of San Antonio, Texas, regularly recalls his grandmother's story of emigrating from Mexico as an orphan as a fundamental part of his background and also to inform his views on immigration policy.

O & # 39; Rourke seriously announced his presidential offer last Thursday, although he teased the ability to run for months.

He broke loose on the national scene after taking a stronger-than-expected challenge in 2018 against Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, who broke fundraising records and quickly built up a brand among Democrats.

And while he renounced the prospect of president, a few days before the election day in 2018, he quickly made it clear that he could only be open to running a few weeks later.

Race, gender, and dual standards issues are important issues that democratic candidates face in the historically diverse field of candidates.

One debate was about the idea of ​​whether the government should pay allowances to families descended from slaves.

O & # 39; Rourke was asked for his opinion on repairs at a home party in Iowa, where he spoke about the importance of tackling systemic racism, but did not endorse a specific plan.

Minnesota Democratic senator Amy Klobuchar, who is also chairman, addressed the question during an interview on Saturday with "Meet the Press", also during her campaign swing through Iowa.

"I believe we should invest in those communities that are so hurt by racism. It doesn't have to be direct compensation for every person," she said.

"But what we can do is, in those communities, acknowledge what has happened. And that means better education. That means looking at our entire economy: community university, one-year degrees, minimum wage, childcare, making sure we share that shared dream of opportunity for all Americans. & # 39;