O'Rourke accused Cruz of not doing enough to stand up to Trump when it came to Russian Federation and that the state needs a "full-time senator" rather than someone who concentrates on running for president.
"It's clear Congressman O'Rourke's pollsters have told him to come out on the attack", Cruz shot back. Despite that, his campaign raised more than $38.1 million in the third quarter of 2018 - the largest quarterly fundraising total in Senate history.Cruz maintains a slight lead over O'Rourke in recent polls but has struggled to raise as much money - only $12 million in the final quarter.
As O'Rourke hammered Cruz as more interested in his political career than representing Texas - "Ted Cruz is for Ted Cruz", the challenger said at one point - Cruz pressed his long-running case that O'Rourke is captive to the activist left and too liberal for Texas. And "Lyin' Ted" was not the only Trump-style insult aired in the debate, with O'Rourke telling Cruz multiple times that he was "all talk and no action".
Cruz, one of Trump's fiercest primary opponents that year, has since cultivated a close relationship with the president, despite Trump suggesting that his father was in on the plot to assassinate John F. Kennedy in Dallas and disparaging his wife's physical appearance on the campaign trail. A debate that had been planned for September 30 in Houston was postponed amid the battle over Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, and it has not yet been rescheduled.
Rep. Beto O'Rourke and Sen.
"He's dishonest", O'Rourke said of Cruz at one point. He struggled at times to retort while Cruz, an experienced debater and former litigator, painted him as anti-police and out of step with the right-leaning Texas electorate.More news: Video shows frantic woman abandoning toddler on front porch
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On Tuesday night, the Democrat went on the attack with charges such as, "Ted Cruz is for Ted Cruz". "The tariffs that the president has levied, the trade wars that he has led us into, is hurting no state more than it's hurting Texas". You were all talk and no action.
Cruz accused O'Rourke of being eager to bring impeachment proceedings against Trump, contending that a Democratic Senate would provoke "two years of a partisan circus". O'Rourke would blow it all!
Texas may be slipping from the bulletproof GOP stronghold it was over the last few decades, but it's still a reliably red state. "He's dishonest", O'Rourke said. "I mean, everybody I know in Texas likes Whataburger".
Cruz closed by again highlighting his policy differences with O'Rourke on immigration, health care and a host of issues, saying he is also offering a positive vision for the state of Texas.
Cue a clip of Cruz declaring that "I'm a big fan of eating White Castle burgers".