Vanity Fair editor on O'Rourke lamenting 'born to be in it' cover: 'I'm proud that we got it'

Vanity Fair editor on O'Rourke lamenting 'born to be in it' cover: 'I'm proud that we got it'
© Vanity Fair

The editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair defended its recent cover with former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeButtigieg picks up third congressional endorsement from New York lawmaker Klobuchar hires staff in Nevada Deval Patrick enters 2020 race MORE (D-Texas) after the 2020 presidential contender expressed regret about it.

Vanity Fair profiled O'Rourke on its cover in March, quoting the former congressman declaring, "I want to be in it. Man, I'm just born to be in it" about his presidential run.

"I'm really proud of it, I'm proud that we got it, and I'm proud that it's still driving conversation," Vanity Fair Editor-in-Chief Radhika Jones told CNN's Christiane Amanpour when asked to react to O'Rourke's recent expressions of regret about it. 

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The cover was criticized by some Democrats as being presumptuous, while some also complained that a woman would not have been able to get away with making such a statement.

O'Rourke, who nearly upset Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzHouston police chief excoriates McConnell, Cornyn and Cruz on gun violence FBI head rejects claims of Ukrainian 2016 interference GOP counsel says both Ukraine, Russia interfered in 2016 U.S. elections MORE (R-Texas) in 2018, was pressed about the Vanity Fair piece while appearing in "The View" this week, and whether he had any regrets over perceptions it made him appear to be benefiting from male privilege.

"Yeah, I think it reinforces that perception of privilege," O'Rourke, 46, said. "I was attempting to say that I felt that my calling was in public service."

"No one is born to be President of the United States of America — least of all me," he added.

Vanity Fair's Jones said O'Rourke had been correctly quoted.

"I mean, he did say it. And I have felt actually it is clear what he meant, and I'd also say a lot of people have interpreted this cover differently. That's always the case with covers, I find," Jones added. 

O'Rourke is embarking on a media tour to reintroduce himself to American voters after failing to gain much traction in recent 2020 polls.

O'Rourke will be featured in a CNN town hall event on May 21.