Avenatti: 2020 Dem nominee 'better be a white male'

Lawyer Michael Avenatti in a new interview with Time magazine said he believes the 2020 Democratic nominee "better be a white male," though he added he wishes it weren't so. 

Avenatti made the remark as he discussed his potential run for president, according to Time.  

"I think it better be a white male,” he said of the Democratic nominee, before adding that he wished that was not the case.

“When you have a white male making the arguments, they carry more weight,” he said. “Should they carry more weight? Absolutely not. But do they? Yes.” 

ADVERTISEMENT

Reached by The Hill, Avenatti said he was misquoted.

"I was misquoted and it was also taken out of context," he said in an email. He did not answer follow-up questions regarding whether he discussed being a "white male" with the reporters at all. 

Time national correspondent Molly Ball wrote in an email to The Hill that she and her co-author Alana Abramson "stand by our reporting." 

The New York lawyer's comments about the presidential nominee being a "white male" have already attracted backlash on social media, with some critics noting a few of the highest-profile possible contenders include women such as Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJuan Williams: Honesty, homophobia and Mayor Pete Trump DACA fight hits Supreme Court Democrats on edge as Iowa points to chaotic race MORE (D-Mass.) and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisJuan Williams: Honesty, homophobia and Mayor Pete Democrats debate how to defeat Trump: fight or heal Women who inspired 'Hidden Figures' film will be honored with congressional gold medals MORE (D-Calif.).

Avenatti, in response to Time's article, later tweeted that he often calls for "white males like me" to "take responsibility."

"Let me be clear," he tweeted Thursday afternoon. "I have consistently called on white males like me to step, take responsibility, and be a part of stoping the sexism and bigotry that other white males engage in. It is especially important for them to call out other white males. I make this pt in my speeches."

Avenatti has become a feisty fixture in national headlines over the past year, jumping into the fray as an anti-Trump lawyer during the administration's highest-profile controversies.  

He is very publicly eyeing a bid for the presidency, claiming that he is one of the only contenders who will "punch back" at President TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE

Avenatti in the Time profile said every political event he attends "puts me a little closer to actually" running for president.

“Look, I can be aggressive at times," he said in response to a question about whether he is a bully. "I didn’t get to where I am by being a pushover, OK? I don’t generally go after people offensively, but if somebody comes after me, I will absolutely meet them every step of the way and then some, no question."

-- Updated 2:42 p.m.