O'Rourke borrows Trump's attack line against 'Lying Ted' Cruz in Texas Senate debate

Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke aggressively cast Republican Sen. Ted Cruz as "all talk and no action" during ...

Posted: Oct 17, 2018 2:54 PM
Updated: Oct 17, 2018 2:54 PM

Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke aggressively cast Republican Sen. Ted Cruz as "all talk and no action" during the second -- and potentially final -- debate of the Texas Senate race Tuesday night.

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.

Beto O'Rourke

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Continents and regions

Donald Trump

Elections and campaigns

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government health insurance

Government organizations - US

Health and medical

Health care

Health insurance

Insurance

International trade

Medicaid

North America

Political Figures - US

Politics

Social assistance and welfare

Society

Southwestern United States

Ted Cruz

Texas

The Americas

Trade and development

United States

US Congress

US federal government

US House of Representatives

US Senate

White House

The change in approach could be necessary for O'Rourke. A new CNN poll out Tuesday showed Cruz with a 7 percentage point lead -- consistent with other recent surveys that have shown the Republican clearly ahead. O'Rourke had $22.9 million in the bank at the close of the third quarter of 2018, giving him enough money to advertise across the state in the race's final three weeks.

Minutes into the debate, as Cruz accused O'Rourke of supporting a $10-a-barrel tax on oil, the El Paso congressman shot back that Cruz is "dishonest."

"It's why the President called him 'Lying Ted,' and it's why the nickname stuck -- because it's true," he said.

The vote in question was a 2016 House GOP resolution that rejected the idea of a new oil tax. O'Rourke and most Democrats opposed the measure.

"Congressman O'Rourke sides with liberal extremists on the national level, instead of the people of Texas -- instead of jobs in Texas," Cruz said.

O'Rourke continued his more combative approach through the debate. He highlighted Cruz's 2016 bid for the Republican presidential nomination, saying Cruz hasn't visited all of the 254 counties in Texas, "but has been to all 99 in Iowa."

"Ted Cruz is for Ted Cruz," he said.

The debate showcased differences over social media regulation to combat foreign interference in election -- O'Rourke said he was open to it; Cruz was opposed -- and a stark split on the Supreme Court and the potential for the reversal of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.

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."

A question over trade led to a battle about party control in Congress.

Cruz claimed that O'Rourke is the only Senate Democratic candidate this cycle who has explicitly supported Trump's impeachment.

He said that O'Rourke's election would lead to "two years of a partisan circus, shutting down the federal government in a witch hunt on the President."

"It's really interesting to hear you talk about a partisan circus after your last six years in the US Senate," O'Rourke fired back. "If you have this special relationship with President Trump, then where is the result of that? You are all talk and no action."

"I'm against tariffs. I'm against the trade war," Cruz said. "If we're erecting barriers and shutting down trade, that is a bad thing. This is one of the few issues where Congressman O'Rourke and I have some common ground."

The difference, Cruz said, is that he has a relationship with Trump and can advocate for expanded trade. He praised Trump for negotiating a "new NAFTA, a new trade deal," with benefits for Texas.

O'Rourke criticized Trump for alienating trade partners like Canada and Mexico, and said his trade war is "hurting no state more than it's hurting Texas."

Trump has thrown his support behind Cruz and plans to host a rally for his former rival's benefit. On Wednesday morning, he tweeted that the senator has "done so much for Texas" and that O'Rourke would "blow it all."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 36578

Reported Deaths: 2258
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion10188604
Lake3876207
Allen181071
Cass15919
Elkhart158528
St. Joseph135838
Hendricks120478
Hamilton119194
Johnson1125113
Madison60061
Porter56233
Clark53942
Bartholomew53139
LaPorte44824
Howard44236
Tippecanoe4344
Jackson4012
Delaware39741
Shelby39722
Hancock35427
Boone32436
Floyd31941
Vanderburgh2913
Morgan28626
Noble27821
Montgomery24917
Clinton2471
White2399
Decatur23132
Grant22923
Dubois2113
Kosciusko2052
Harrison19622
Marshall1872
Henry18512
Vigo1828
Greene17226
Dearborn17122
Monroe17113
Lawrence17124
Warrick16729
Miami1461
Putnam1427
Jennings1324
Orange13122
LaGrange1282
Scott1263
Franklin1168
Ripley1086
Daviess10416
Carroll952
Wayne906
Steuben902
Wabash812
Newton8010
Fayette797
Jasper741
Jay580
Clay533
Randolph523
Rush513
Fulton511
Washington501
Pulaski500
Jefferson491
Whitley453
DeKalb451
Starke423
Perry390
Huntington382
Sullivan371
Wells350
Owen341
Brown331
Benton320
Knox310
Blackford272
Tipton261
Crawford250
Adams231
Switzerland220
Spencer221
Fountain222
Gibson202
Parke180
Posey160
Martin140
Warren131
Ohio130
Vermillion100
Union100
Pike60
Unassigned0180

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 125915

Reported Deaths: 5795
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook813443880
Lake8647334
DuPage7997394
Kane6672205
Will5799285
Winnebago246566
McHenry167779
St. Clair126292
Kankakee98954
Kendall83919
Rock Island70325
Champaign6777
Madison62465
Boone49817
DeKalb4508
Sangamon36029
Peoria30111
Jackson30010
Randolph2734
McLean22613
Ogle2253
Stephenson2115
Macon20020
Clinton19017
Union17114
LaSalle16016
Whiteside14913
Coles13817
Iroquois1355
Warren1220
Out of IL1161
Grundy1112
Knox1020
Jefferson10116
Monroe10012
McDonough9113
Unassigned900
Lee821
Tazewell815
Cass760
Williamson753
Henry700
Pulaski580
Marion520
Jasper467
Macoupin462
Adams441
Morgan421
Perry420
Vermilion421
Montgomery411
Livingston362
Christian354
Jo Daviess321
Douglas280
Jersey241
Menard220
Bureau211
Fayette213
Ford211
Woodford212
Washington190
Mason180
Mercer180
Carroll172
Hancock171
Shelby161
Alexander140
Schuyler130
Bond121
Franklin120
Fulton120
Moultrie120
Clark110
Crawford110
Johnson110
Logan110
Piatt110
Brown100
Cumberland100
Wayne91
Effingham81
Henderson80
Massac70
Saline70
Greene60
Wabash60
Marshall50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland40
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
White20
Calhoun10
Edgar10
Hardin10
Pike10
Pope10
Putnam10
Terre Haute
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 66°
Robinson
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 67°
Indianapolis
Few Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 66°
Rockville
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 59°
Casey
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 68°
Brazil
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 66°
Marshall
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 66°
Mostly sunny and hot
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

Art honors Hoosier pilot

Image

Protesters gather for change

Image

Free Fishing Weekend

Image

First outdoor market of summer in Terre Haute

Image

Individual diploma presentations

Image

Protesters demand justice for George Floyd

Image

1 injured in ATV accident

Image

Saturday Morning Forecast Update

Image

Umpires

Image

The Salvation Army and the historic origins of National Donut Day

WTHI Events