Beto ‘Sure Did’ Feel A Bit Targeted By Other Dems, But ‘That’s Part Of Politics’

Democratic presidential hopeful former US Representative for Texas' 16th congressional district Beto O'Rourke speaks with the press in the Spin Room after participating in the first Democratic primary debate of the 2... Democratic presidential hopeful former US Representative for Texas' 16th congressional district Beto O'Rourke speaks with the press in the Spin Room after participating in the first Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, June 26, 2019. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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June 27, 2019 8:30 a.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke acknowledged that he was specifically targeted during the first round of Democratic debates, but laughed off the notion that it might hurt his standing.

“I sure did,” he said, when asked if he felt he was the recipient of some “incoming” criticism on Wednesday night. “But that’s part of politics and that’s part of the debate. Certainly one where you have 10 candidates on the stage, each of them trying to make their mark. I choose to define myself not against other people. I’m really running not against any of those other candidates but for the United States of America.”

Others have a different strategy, one that involved attacking other candidates,” he continued. “And I’ll leave it to pundits and others to judge performance or the best tactics one could take, but I was very pleased with my ability to lay out why I’m doing this and what it is I want to accomplish.”

Candidates Julian Castro and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio went after O’Rourke on the debate stage. Castro accused O’Rourke of not doing his “homework” on immigration and de Blasio cut the former Texas congressman off during a discussion about eliminating private health insurance.

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