Democratic presidential contender Beto O’Rourke issued the first two apologies of his campaign on Friday, March 15: one for the violent fictions he wrote as a teenager, the other about comments me made about his wife while on campaign.
According to The Epoch Times, O’Rourke wrote a short story as a teen about killing 38 people and described it as “acts of love.”
An excerpt of the story first surfaced in a profile of O’Rourke published by Reuters on March 15. An archive of the entire killing-spree story has since been unearthed online.
O’Rourke, 46, said he was “mortified” when he reread the violent fiction he wrote as a teen.
“I’m mortified to read it now, incredibly embarrassed, but I have to take ownership of my words,” he said. “Whatever my intention was as a teenager doesn’t matter, I have to look long and hard at my actions, at the language I have used, and I have to constantly try to do better.”
“It’s not anything I’m proud of today, and I mean, that’s—that’s the long and short of it,” he added.
This is the first time the former Texas congressman apologized publicly as a candidate after entering the 2020 presidential race. He announced his White House bid on March 14, after a failed Senate race against Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in 2018.
O’Rourke also apologized for his campaign-trail joke that his wife, Amy, has raised their three kids “sometimes with my help.” O’Rourke made the comment at multiple campaign stops during his first swing through Iowa, and drew criticism for being insensitive to the challenges faced by single parents raising children.
“Not only will I not say that again, but I will be much more thoughtful in the ways that I talk about my marriage,” he said during a taping of the “Political Party Live” podcast in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) March 16, 2019
O’Rourke is one of 15 Democrats who had officially announced their candidacy for the 2020 presidential race. In early polling, he is among the handful of the top candidates, but far behind socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Vice President Joe Biden. Biden has not officially announced his run but is widely expected to do so.
Similar to most of the Democrats who have announced their candidacies, O’Rourke is embracing the socialist Medicare for All and Green New Deal policies. While most of the candidates have publicly distanced themselves from socialism, O’Rourke refused to denounce the ideology, even under repeated questioning by the BBC.
He also confirmed to Reuters correspondent Joseph Menn that, as a youth in El Paso, he belonged to the hacking group known as the Cult of the Dead Cow. He acknowledged that, during those teenage years, he stole long-distance phone service to participate in electronic discussions. Others in the group committed the same offense and got off with warnings; the statute of limitations ran out long ago.
First Victims of O’Rourke’s Killing Spree: Two Children
The first victims of the killing spree described in the story were two children.
O’Rourke wrote that as the children crossed a road they looked happy. But their “happiness was mine by right,” O’Rourke wrote, before describing the killing.
“As I neared the young ones, I put all my weight on my right foot, keeping the accelerator pedal on the floor until I heard the crashing of the two children on the hood, and then the sharp cry of pain from one of the two,” O’Rourke wrote.
In the story, O’Rourke says that the notion for the killing spree came to him during “dreams and visions.” Eventually, he writes, the desire could no longer be suppressed.
“The more people I killed, the longer my dreams were,” O’Rourke wrote. “I soon quit my job, and stayed at my house in an almost comatose state. My dreams grew longer and more vivid. They kept me alive and proved to be the only thing to live for. I had killed nearly 38 people by the time of my twenty-third birthday, and each one was more fulfilling than the last.”
The short story is part of several disturbing writings by O’Rourke unearthed by Reuters, The Associated Press, and Yahoo News. In another story, he goes on an expletive-laden, deprecating rant about girls who he refers to as “ultra-trendies.”
O’Rourke wrote the stories under the pseudonym “Psychedelic Warlord” as part of a prominent early hacking group called Cult of the Dead Cow.
The Epoch Times reporter Ivan Pentchoukov, The Associated Press, and Reuters contributed to this report.