Cruz, O'Rourke face off in first debate

Cruz, O'Rourke face off in first debate

Cruz, O'Rourke face off in first debate

At campaign stops, Cruz, a former presidential candidate who is seeking a second term in the Senate, has gone after O'Rourke as a "gun-grabbing liberal" and portrayed him as out-of-step with the bulk of Texas voters.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-TX) shake hands after a debate at McFarlin Auditorium at SMU on September 21, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. Cruz, who was a legendary debater as an undergraduate at Princeton. Candidates were asked about what they admired about their opponent. That includes 94 percent of Cruz backers and 92 percent of O'Rourke backers.

Nonetheless, O'Rourke has raised significantly out-raised Cruz.

"They said. 'if you take our guns you're not going to make us any safer".

With the moderators seeking to move on, Cruz interjected to assert that "more armed police officers in our school is not thoughts and prayers".

"Sorry you don't like thoughts and prayers", Mr. Cruz shot back, adding he would pray for anyone at any time.

"We're seeing nationally socialists like Bernie Sanders, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and, indeed, Congressman Beto O'Rourke advocating for those same policies", Cruz said.

"You see a lot more O'Rourke signs in affluent Republican-leaning areas than you might typically see for a Democratic candidate. That's not what Texans want".

"Ms. Ford's allegations must be investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, full stop", Mr. O'Rourke began his comments. "Cruz, are just not gonna cut it anymore", O'Rourke said.

On the Supreme Court and economics, the specter of President Trump loomed large.

More fireworks flared up as Cruz and O'Rourke tackled the topic of their respective relationships with President Donald Trump. How could he square such harsh charges with support now, Mr. Cruz was asked? Cruz said that in an election "unlike any other", he made a conscious decision to put any personal hurt feelings aside for the good of Texans.

He also slammed Cruz for supporting Trump's trade policies, which he said have negatively impacted the Texas economy.

O'Rourke insisted he would work with anyone who has the best interests of Texas in mind, including Trump. "But I also think Judge Kavanaugh deserves a full opportunity to defend himself and to let the American people listen and come to an assessment of what happened".

Cruz said O'Rourke wanted to get rid of the Second Amendment, prompting O'Rourke to say that wasn't the case.

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