“It was probably more when I got to college. When I was growing up, in high school, that’s not what girls thought they were going to do,” the Democratic senator said during a Sunday interview on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”
“My parents, I think, thought it was a possibility. But I really didn’t. And so for me, it’s something that’s happened over time, as I’ve realized I can do things,” Klobuchar reportedly said. “I can get elected to the secretary-treasurer of my high school class. I can move on from there. And so I think it’s something that I didn’t have from birth.”
“I want to be in it,” O’Rourke said in the magazine’s cover story. “Man, I’m just born to be in it, and want to do everything I humanly can for this country at this moment.”
The Texan’s comments to Vanity Fair, along with his decision to rule out a second Senate run last month, have been called emblematic of his white male privilege, amid a race with several viable female and African-American candidates, by critics within the Democratic Party.
“If a woman was presented with a similar choice: Do that less ambitious, but better-for-the-party thing, versus more ambitious but longer-shot thing, I don’t see people being super understanding when she takes the latter,” Jess McIntosh, a Democratic strategist and former Hillary Clinton aide, told The New York Times.
Klobuchar continued, saying, “But no, I wasn’t born to run for office, just because growing up in the ’70s, in the middle of the country, I don’t think many people thought a girl could be president. I wasn’t born to run. But I am running.”
Fox News’ Lukas Mikelionis contributed to this report.