What Did Beto O'Rourke Say About Women in College Essay? Texas Candidate Apologizes

Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke has apologized for comments he made about women when he was 19.

In a review of a Broadway musical for his university's newspaper The Columbia Daily Spectator, O'Rourke remarked on the "perma-smile actresses" in The Will Rogers Follies as having qualifications limited to "their phenomenally large breasts and tight buttocks."

"Basically, the show documents the life of Will Rogers, the 'lassoing fool,' who rose from being an insignificant side show attraction to one of the more prominent political pundits and cultural statesmen in our history," O'Rourke wrote in the October 1991 review.

"Yet it is produced and directed in such a showy, glitzy, and ultimately, tacky manner, that one cannot help feeling disgusted throughout the show. Keith Carradine in the lead role is surrounded by perma-smile actresses whose only qualifications seem to be their phenomenally large breasts and tight buttocks," he added, in comments he has said he now feels were disrespectful.

"One thing that should be taken into consideration, however, is that I was the youngest person in the crowd by about 60 years," O'Rourke added in the article. "Though I found it revolting, most people from that long-ago, faraway generation really enjoyed the show, and were very pleased with the performances."

"I am ashamed of what I wrote and I apologize. There is no excuse for making disrespectful and demeaning comments about women," O'Rourke said in a statement to Politico.

The Texas Democrat, who is running against Republican Ted Cruz in the Senate race, has spoken about mistakes he made in his past—including an arrest for driving under the influence in 1998—while his comments from the 1991 article were flagged to Politico by someone opposed to O'Rourke's campaign.

Cruz is currently leading O'Rourke, with average polls collated by Real Clear Politics showing the Republican with a 4.5 percent lead over the Democrat in what has been a widely covered race.