Gillum: Beto O'Rourke 'enjoys a set of privileges' other candidates don't

Former Tallahassee mayor and Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum (D) said in an interview published Wednesday that former Rep. Beto O’RourkeBeto O’RourkeBiden will help close out Texas Democrats’ virtual convention: report O’Rourke on Texas reopening: ‘Dangerous, dumb and weak’ Parties gear up for battle over Texas state House MORE (D-Texas) “enjoys a set of privileges” that other candidates don’t have.

“There’s no doubt that O’Rourke enjoys a set of privileges in his decision-making that other candidates don’t,” Gillum told The New York Times. “Can you imagine it for any of the women that are in the race for president or considering a run?”

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“They probably could not muse out loud, or in the recesses of their mind have these sorts of conversations and then say them out loud, and think it would be taken seriously or they would be taken seriously,” he added.

O’Rourke announced last week that he will seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. Since announcing his campaign, the former Texas Senate candidate has acknowledged that he is privileged. 

O’Rourke said last week that he would be more thoughtful about “the way in which I acknowledge the truth of the criticism that I have enjoyed white privilege.” Earlier this week, he also described himself as “a white man who has had privileges.”

In his interview with the Times, Gillum said O’Rourke “recognizes that there is privilege that accompanies him here.”

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“That doesn’t make him less deserving of consideration, it’s just something that has to be acknowledged,” Gillum said. “I think over the course of this race, we will — and America will — discover what Beto O’Rourke’s views are. And I think he’ll be measured on that.”

Asked about his own 2020 prospects, Gillum told the newspaper that “it was a pretty quick consideration” before he decided not to run.

“Everybody has to consider what role they play in Trump’s America right now to bring this to an end. But for me, it was a pretty quick consideration. I had to put into focus that I’d spent the better part of two years running around the state of Florida and away from my three children and my wife,” he said. 

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