Beto O’Rourke has run a 5K race, as he attempts to put his nascent campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination on more solid footing after a rocky start.
O’Rourke competed in the We Run ‘Lucky Run’ five-kilometer race on Saturday in North Liberty, Iowa, finishing in 22nd place overall with a respectable time of 24:15.
The race in the first primary state allowed O’Rourke, an athletic-looking 46 years old, to project an image of youthful vigor, in unspoken contrast to some of his much older political rivals.
‘We’ve got to run a campaign, and this is the toughest way to run,’ he said after finishing the race, forehead still glistening. ‘We are setting the pace… It is extraordinarily energizing.’
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke (center) participates in the Lucky Run 5k race on Saturday in North Liberty, Iowa
The race allowed O’Rourke, an athletic-looking 46 years old, to project an image of youthful vigor, in unspoken contrast to some of his much older political rivals
O’Rourke finished the race in 22nd place overall with a respectable time of 24:15
‘Getting back to the hotel at 10 or 11 (at night), I come down from all the energy that I have, all the stories I have heard, the people I have met, all the places I have been to for the first time. It’s thrilling,’ O’Rourke continued.
‘That’s where I find my energy.’
Under the eye of countless cameras, the candidate – a rower during his student days at New York’s Columbia University – then walked over to his rental car, slipped into the driver’s seat and headed out.
On Friday, O’Rourke apologized for a series of gaffes, including his joke that his wife raises their three children practically on her own and and for his troubling teenage fantasy fiction about killing kids that has come back to haunt him.
Speaking on the podcast Political Party LIVE! in Cedar Rapids, he admitted he was wrong for joking that his wife raised the family only ‘sometimes with my help’, which had sparked outrage among female politicians and activists.
O’Rourke receives a medal after finishing the Lucky Run 5k race on Saturday in Iowa
‘We’ve got to run a campaign, and this is the toughest way to run,’ he said after finishing the race, forehead still glistening
O’Rourke sips water after finishing the Lucky Run 5k race on Saturday in North Liberty, Iowa
‘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,’ O’Rourke said.
He acknowledged that the ‘criticism is right on’ and said his controversial statement was his ‘ham-handed attempt to highlight the fact that Amy has the lion’s share of the burden in our family’.
‘She actually works but is the primary parent in our family, especially when I served in Congress, especially when I was on the campaign trail,’ he said.
He and Amy married in 2005 after meeting on a blind date and have two sons and a daughter tougher.
Then he went on to apologize for his jarring poetry and fiction written as a teenager while he was a member of a group of activist computer hacking group Cult of the Dead Cow, which included fantasizing about killing young children and a suggestive poetic ode to a cow.
At an event on Saturday, O’Rourke returned to the theme of race in response to questions about whether he will be at a disadvantage as a white male in the Democrat primary.
Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, 46, speaks with supporters during a three-day road trip across Iowa, in Waterloo, Iowa later on Saturday
‘I would never begin by saying that it’s a disadvantage at all,’ O’Rourke told reporters in a parking lot in Waterloo, after giving a speech at the campaign kickoff for state Senate candidate Eric Giddens. ‘
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 announced his White House bid on Thursday after months of speculation with a three-minute video where his wife Amy sits silently at his side clinging onto his arm.
He quickly faced backlash over perceived odd mannerisms, with critics like President Donald Trump mocking him as crazy for his excessive hand gestures and Dr. Drew Pinsky, the host of The Celebrity Rehab, saying ‘there’s something not right’ about O’Rourke.
Oddsmakers currently show O’Rourke in fourth for the nomination, after Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Joe Biden.
Dark horse candidate Andrew Yang, a businessman who wants to institute a universal basic income paying all citizens $1,000 per month, has seen odds shorten among a surge of online interest in recent days, and is currently tied with Cory Booker among most bookies.