U.S. Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke apologized for “disrespectful and demeaning comments about women” he made in a 1991 musical theater review published in his college newspaper that resurfaced Monday.
“I am ashamed of what I wrote and I apologize,” the Texas Democrat said in a statement, according to Politico. “There is no excuse for making disrespectful and demeaning comments about women.”
The apology came after Politico resurfaced O’Rourke’s 1991 review of “The Will Rogers Follies” in the Columbia University student newspaper, the Columbia Daily Spectator. (Politico reported that it received a tip about the newspaper column by “a person who opposes O’Rourke’s Senate campaign” against Sen. Ted Cruz.)
As a 19-year-old college student in 1991, O’Rourke called the musical “one of the most glaring examples of the sickening excesses and moral degradations of our culture” and wrote the show’s actresses’ “only qualifications seem to be their phenomenally large breasts and tight buttocks.” At the end of the review, O’Rourke said he “was the youngest person in the crowd by about 60 years.”
“Though I found it revolting,” he wrote, “most people from that long-ago, faraway generation really enjoyed the show, and were very pleased with the performances.”
As a Democratic challenger, O’Rourke has come within single digits in the polls against Cruz, who is running for reelection. Throughout his campaign, O’Rourke has addressed his 1998 drunken driving arrest — “a serious mistake” he has “publicly discussed over the last 20 years,” he says. And the Texas Republican Party shared old photos of the Democrat on Twitter, but fans of O’Rourke’s found humor in the photo dump.