Beto O'Rourke Pins Himself In Corner Over Drunk Driving Claim

Hannah Rogers
September 22, 2018

It was more duel than debate as Republican Senator Ted Cruz and Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke went after each other in the first few minutes of their Friday showdown in Dallas.

The debate, slated to begin at 7 p.m. EST, marks the first direct face-off between the two men in a race that has vaulted to the top of the American political consciousness, as Democrats believe O'Rourke represents their best chance in decades to win statewide office in Texas for the first time since the early 1990's.

The crowd watching the debate at Southern Methodist University Friday was most animated while Cruz and O'Rourke took on guns, police violence and mass shootings.

The Quinnipiac poll released yesterday found Cruz with a nine-point lead in this hotly contested race.

"If he's talking about NFL players kneeling during the national anthem at a football game to call attention to injustice in this country, he'll talk about flag burning", O'Rourke said.

Asked what he admired about O'Rourke, Cruz managed to compare him to Sen. "I think this is by design for the O'Rourke campaign, they've wanted to create that visual sense that they are making inroads in hostile territory", Wilson added.

When Cruz stopped speaking, O'Rourke wryly deadpanned: "True to form". He noted that O'Rourke has expressed an openness toward abolishing the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency and impeaching President Donald Trump.

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"You see a lot more O'Rourke signs in affluent Republican-leaning areas than you might typically see for a Democratic candidate".

Cruz shot back that he became a Republican in part because of the party's support for civil rights, while Democrats in the South supported Jim Crow laws. In Mr. Cruz's case, the senator showcased a masterful command of nearly every topic, while Mr. O'Rourke unfailingly managed to take any issue and tie it to a specific individual he has met while crisscrossing Texas.

So why such a big difference in these two polls?

Mr. O'Rourke, in turn, did not deny he favors higher taxes but stressed instead a format he said favors the wealthy and stands as a misguided move for a nation deeply in debt. During the 2016 presidential race, the moderators reminded the audience, Mr. Trump savagely attacked Mr. Cruz as "Lying Ted", while Mr. Cruz characterized Mr. Trump as an inveterate liar himself.

"I've got a responsibility, which is to fight for everybody here and every person in this state", he said.

Cruz recalled meeting with students and teachers from the school.

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