Cruz, O'Rourke face off in first debate

Saul Bowman
September 22, 2018

Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (L), and Democratic U.S. Representative Beto O'Rourke hold their first debate for Texas U.S. Senate seat at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, U.S., September 21, 2018.

There are two other debates - September 30 at the University of Houston and October 16 in San Antonio.

But don't worry if you can't make the jaunt up I-35.

Recent polls show that the race between Cruz and O'Rourke is relatively close for Texas, which has not sent a Democrat to the Senate since 1992.

The candidates also differed regarding the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, which has engulfed Washington recently with a thinly sourced allegation of sexual misconduct by Mr. Kavanaugh more than three decades ago made by Christine Blasey Ford, a California professor.

Republican Sen.Ted Cruz (left) and Democratic challenger U.S. Rep.Beto O'Rourke.

The candidates will also debate on September 30 at the University of Houston and on October 16 in San Antonio.

Cruz then likened O'Rourke to former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

The race between Cruz and O'Rourke has garnered national attention due to O'Rourke's unlikely popularity as a candidate.

He also slammed Cruz for supporting Trump's trade policies, which he said have negatively impacted the Texas economy. It's frequently been spotted at Texas political events since Trump announced plans to visit.

O'Rourke has built his campaign around healthcare, economic inequality, and resisting Trump and Cruz's immigration policies, as well as calling for some gun-control measures including uniform background checks and banning high-capacity weapons.

Asked Friday about Trump's 2016 criticism, which included making fun of Cruz's wife's appearance and suggesting that his Cuban-born father had a hand in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Cruz said, "I could have chosen to make it about myself", but instead he said he worked with Trump to further Texas interests.

Things are likely to stay nasty in coming weeks. Cruz said that O'Rourke was "out of step" with Texans as a liberal.

When Cruz stopped speaking, O'Rourke wryly deadpanned: "True to form".

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