Monday, 10 December, 2018

Cruz, O'Rourke Square Off In Testy Dallas Debate

Ted Cruz Americans are 'Dreamers' also TEXAS: Ted Cruz +9 In New Quinnipiac Poll
Glenn Montgomery | 22 September, 2018, 08:27

O'Rourke added that, while he and Cruz disagree on the best moves to make, he has no question that Cruz "wants to do the best for America".

The exchange quickly turned into a broader tiff over judicial nominees, with Cruz seeking to tie O'Rourke to Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, and claiming they both want judges who would effectively overturn the Second Amendment. The Democrat responded by saying he would work with anyone at anytime, including the president.

Signs of a victory by O'Rourke, a US congressman from El Paso, in deep-red Texas would likely herald a nationwide Democratic voter wave that could be catastrophic for Republicans.

Friday night's debate at Southern Methodist University was the first of three debates and a CNN forum the two candidates agreed to before November's midterm elections.

O'Rourke was pressed on his 1998 arrest for drunken driving, and he noted he did not attempt to leave the scene of the accident and called it a "terrible mistake".

"This race is most likely to be determined in suburban districts of Dallas, Austin, Houston, San Antonio", Matthew Wilson, a Professor of Political Science at SMU, told ABC News, "If Beto O'Rourke is going to win he's going to have to persuade a lot of moderate, traditional Republicans to cross party lines".

Cruz didn't speak to the media afterward except to say he thought the debate "went great".

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. "If we're talking about ending the war on drugs, the war on people, and some people over other people in this country, and ending the prohibition on marijuana, he'll talk about legalizing heroin and cocaine".

A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll gave O'Rourke a slight edge, with 47 percent to Cruz's 45 percent That came on the heels of a Quinnipiac University survey that showed Cruz up by 9 percentage points.

More fireworks flared up as Cruz and O'Rourke tackled the topic of their respective relationships with President Donald Trump. It's frequently hit Texas political events since Trump announced plans to visit.

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

That ignored Cruz drawing the ire of many Texas conservatives for refusing to endorse Trump during the 2016 Republican National Convention.

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