Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke ‘Apologizes’ For Seemingly Agreeing With Cruz ‘A**hole’ Insult: ‘I Certainly Don’t Think That Publicly’
In March, during an appearance on HBO’s “Real Time,” Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), who is looking to challenge Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in November, had an interesting exchange with host Bill Maher.
It began when O’Rourke was asked by Maher why he doesn’t accept money from Political Action Committees (PACs):
MAHER: For anybody who’s watching who might not be a political junkie, what is PAC money?
O’ROURKE: So, political action committees represent the corporations and interests that have business before Congress. So, the pharmaceutical industries, the telecom industries, the energy industries, the insurance industries; and they give money to members of Congress – not just for access, although that’s part of it. They’re also buying outcomes and actual legislative language that appears in the bills and the bills that become laws.
When you wonder why Congress is so dysfunctional, why it doesn’t represent the interests of the people it purports to serve, it’s because it’s so tied to the sources of money that are coming in. It’s those corporations. It’s why pharmaceutical prices continue to rise; it’s why we’re the least insured country in the developed world; it’s why we’re missing out on so many great opportunities to do the big, important, ambitious work before us. And for Democrats especially, it’s not enough to decry Citizens United, and say that all this big money sloshing through the halls of Congress is bad, we’ve got a start walking the talk. So, in this campaign, we have out-raised Ted Cruz by well more than a million dollars without taking a dime from PACs. All people, human beings.
MAHER: But don’t forget, he’s a giant a**hole.
O’ROURKE: That – that’s true. Folks will never have to wonder who it is I represent or who I’m voting for.
Here’s the video (pertinent portion begins at the 4:45 mark):
For context, when Maher called Ted Cruz “a giant a**hole,” he was referring back to an earlier part of the segment when he read quotes from a list of lawmakers who have criticized the Senator – some of whom even used foul language.
However, O’Rourke seemingly agreeing with Maher’s statement didn’t go unnoticed, and was brought up during an interview with The New York Times’ Frank Bruni, which was published on Saturday.
It was a naughty swerve from his usual niceness, and over lunch in Houston on Thursday, he told me that he regretted it.
“I think I was just moving the conversation along,” Beto said. “Anyhow, I don’t think that Ted Cruz is an a**hole.”
“You don’t?” I asked, incredulous.
“I certainly don’t think that publicly,” he answered.
That’s a rather peculiar way to put it. He doesn’t think it “publicly.” O’Rourke’s gaffe doesn’t seem to be something that will engender a significant amount of backlash, but in the future, he may want to be more careful.
The Daily Wire reached out to O’Rourke’s office for comment, but as of publication, there has been no response.