Published: Thu, October 18, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

O'Rourke lays into Cruz in Texas debate

O'Rourke lays into Cruz in Texas debate

Over the hourlong event, the El Paso congressman took a series of harsher-than-usual swings at Cruz - including a couple of blows evocative of the senator's battle with Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential race.

O'Rourke, stumping in San Antonio ahead of a televised debate with Cruz on Tuesday night, poked at the senator for accepting help from the president.

"Well it's clear Congressman O'Rourke's pollsters have told him to come out on the attack, so if he wants to insult me and call me a liar, that's fine", Cruz snapped.

"Senator Cruz won't be honest with you".

"He's dishonest. It's why the president called him Lyin' Ted, and it's why the nickname stuck, because its true", O'Rourke said.

Cruz laughed off the exchange saying it was obvious that O'Rourke needed to attack to try and reverse polls that show him fading.

The debate showcased differences over social media regulation to combat foreign interference in election - O'Rourke said he was open to it; Cruz was opposed - and a stark split on the Supreme Court and the potential for the reversal of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion. Cruz noted O'Rourke is "the only Democratic Senate nominee in the country who has explicitly come out for impeaching President Trump".

But O'Rourke's feel-good message exposed vulnerability during the first debate, on September 21. A Democrat hasn't won statewide in Texas in 24 years.

Both candidates lobbed attacks throughout, taking more aggressive stances as the race enters the final stretch and Democrats try to keep their fledgling hopes of re-taking the Senate alive despite a hard host of races in many states President Donald Trump won handily in 2016.

When O'Rourke said he wanted to expand federally funded health care to more Americans, Cruz said the congressman agreed with Vermont Sen.

Cruz said O'Rourke was eager to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump that would lead to a partisan circus. The Post wrote, "Seeking to discredit criticism of his record, O'Rourke repurposed the barb against Trump's former GOP presidential primary rival".

He ends with a quip about Cruz's Canadian origins and a final, "C'mon, Ted". Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018, in San Antonio.

O'Rourke offered a deadpan response, telling Cruz it is "really interesting to hear you talk about a partisan circus after your last six years in the Senate". He accused his opponent of being "all talk and no action".

Regarding tariffs, Cruz said he's against tariffs & trade war and said he's made the case to President Trump to expand exports. We were the sixth largest city in the state. "I believe in hope", Cruz said.

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