The hour-long debate showcased a major shift in tone for O'Rourke, who rarely says the names of Cruz or President Donald Trump on the campaign trail and has often bypassed his opportunities to take direct shots at Cruz.
Democrat Beto O'Rourke abandoned his usual message of unity and optimism and laid into Ted Cruz, hoping to reverse polls that show him fading against the Republican incumbent during the second debate of a Texas Senate race that has become one of the nation's most closely watched.
"Senator Cruz won't be honest with you". "He's dishonest, and it's why the president called him Lyin' Ted, and it's why the nickname stuck-because it's true".
Cruz has maintained an uneasy lead over O'Rourke in recent polls despite O'Rourke out-fundraising him the last six quarters of the cycle.
O'Rourke didn't really address Cruz's attack during the debate - a fact that the Republican was quick to point out. During the 2016 presidential race, Trump re-tweeted an unflattering photo of Cruz's wife and suggested that his Cuban-born father had a hand in John F. Kennedy's assassination.
O'Rourke tried to engender empathy from an audience in Lubbock, Texas, claiming, "I grew up in El Paso where no U.S. Senator ever opened an office".
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AUSTIN, Texas ― Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke repeatedly attacked Sen.
In a line that underscored Democratic worries that O'Rourke hasn't won over enough Latino voters, Cruz said: "The people of Texas, and I will say, especially the Hispanic community, we don't want to see taxpayer-funded, Medicaid-funded abortions". The Post wrote, "Seeking to discredit criticism of his record, O'Rourke repurposed the barb against Trump's former GOP presidential primary rival".
Cruz said O'Rourke was eager to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump that would lead to a partisan circus. "If you have this special relationship with President Trump, then where is the result of that?"
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.
O'Rourke has shattered fundraising records and attracted national attention, but polls that once showed him staying within striking distance now have Cruz ahead. Cruz said people of both sexes need to be protected from harassment and abuse, adding "we need to protect everyone's rights".
It's the race's last scheduled debate after one in Houston was canceled amid Senate floor votes. Trump carried the state by almost a million votes in 2016.