Joe Scarborough has some advice for Beto O’Rourke as the former congressman struggles to make an impression in a crowded field of contenders seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination — stop apologizing for being who he is.
“Beto stop apologizing. Do not apologize for being in Vanity Fair. Do not apologize for having a very rich father-in-law, own it. Do not apologize for taking Republican positions in the past,” Scarborough said. “Do not apologize for being white, do not apologize for being privileged.”
“Or for being a man,” co-host Mika Brzezinski added. “I feel like I need to give him a ‘Know your value’ speech,” she continued, alluding to her women’s empowerment initiative.
Scarborough urged Beto to stay off social media and ignore comments from the “blue check marks” of Twitter.
“Ignore the blue check marks. If you’re on Twitter get off of it. Just start talking to voters. They don’t live on Twitter,” Scarborough said. “That is my free advice, you’re paying people to give you advice, let me tell you it’s bad advice. I’ve given you good advice.”
Though he came close to unseating Texas’ Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018, Beto O’Rourke has struggled in the presidential primary among national Democrats (most of whom are considerably more popular with voters than Cruz). Since joining the race in March, his campaign has consistently sputtered with polls showing him in the low single digits.
When he has made news, it has often been in response to activists who have demanded various forms of apology or contrition for “privileges” they accuse him of having for one reason or another.
“As a white man who has had privileges that others could not depend on, or take for granted, I’ve clearly had advantages over the course of my life,” O’Rourke told Chuck Todd in March. “I think recognizing that and understanding that others have not, doing everything I can to ensure that there is opportunity and the possibility for advancement and advantage for everyone is a big part of this campaign and a big part of the people who comprise this campaign.”
Earlier this week, the candidate announced he would “re-launch” his campaign, kicking things off with a primetime appearance with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow on Monday.
“I recognize that I can do a better job, also, of talking to a national audience beyond the town halls we are having,” he told her.