Cruz blasts O’Rourke af­ter record $38.1M haul

Houston Chronicle - - CITY | STATE - By Jasper Scherer STAFF WRITER

A per­son films Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, as he speaks to sup­port­ers at a cam­paign rally Fri­day in Hous­ton. Cruz slammed his op­po­nent, Rep. Beto O’Rourke, hours af­ter the Demo­crat an­nounced he had more than tripled the sen­a­tor’s fundrais­ing over the last three months.

Sev­eral months ago, Sen. Ted Cruz care­fully avoided men­tion­ing El Paso Rep. Beto O’Rourke by name, re­fer­ring only to “my Demo­cratic op­po­nent.”

At a Fri­day af­ter­noon rally in Hous­ton, Cruz dug into O’Rourke, harshly crit­i­ciz­ing his vot­ing record as he con­tin­ued to paint his op­po­nent as a so­cial­ist, a la­bel O’Rourke has re­jected.

“Ev­ery left-wing rad­i­cal in the coun­try wants to turn Texas blue,” said Cruz, R-Texas. “And they are send­ing their money to Com­rade Beto.”

Cruz’s rally came hours af­ter O’Rourke re­ported a record haul of $38.1 mil­lion dur­ing the last three months, more than triple Cruz’s $12 mil­lion to­tal. With early vot­ing 9 days away, Cruz warned the crowd of O’Rourke’s fundrais­ing, call­ing it “dan­ger­ous.”

“That is the most money ever raised in a sin­gle quar­ter in any Se­nate race in the his­tory of the coun­try,” Cruz said.

Speak­ing to re­porters be­fore the rally, Cruz chal­lenged O’Rourke to a de­bate in McAllen, where O’Rourke is sched­uled to ap­pear on a CNN town hall next week.

Cruz said his cam­paign ini­tially pro­posed that the net­work host a de­bate, which he said O’Rourke’s cam­paign de­clined. CNN then sub­se­quently of­fered to host back-to-back town halls, which Cruz’s cam­paign turned down.

“Beto, I’m happy to go to McAllen on the 18th, go to your town hall, and let’s have a real de­bate,” Cruz said, be­fore ac­cus­ing O’Rourke of try­ing to “hide in the pro­tec­tive co­coon of the me­dia.”

Later, dur­ing the free-wheel­ing, half-hour rally, Cruz mostly went af­ter O’Rourke and na­tional Democrats, of­ten link­ing the two. He called the Se­nate Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee hear­ings for Jus­tice Brett Ka­vanaugh “the 2020 Iowa cau­cus for the Democrats.”

“Beto O’Rourke wants to see on the Supreme Court left-wing ju­di­cial ac­tivists, the kind of ac­tivists Hil­lary Clin­ton would ap­point, who would im­pose their left-wing rad­i­cal pol­icy agenda on all of us,” Cruz said em­phat­i­cally.

As Cruz broached the sub­ject of Ka­vanaugh’s con­fir­ma­tion process, one mem­ber of the crowd shouted, “I like beer!” (Ka­vanaugh’s drink­ing habits be­came a sub­ject of the pro­ceed­ings.)

“I’m sorry sir, if you’ve had a beer, you’re in­el­i­gi­ble for gov­ern­ment ser­vice,” Cruz quipped.

Michael Cia­glo / Staff pho­tog­ra­pher

Michael Cia­glo / Staff pho­tog­ra­pher

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, ad­dress sup­port­ers at a cam­paign rally at the Fire­house Saloon on Fri­day. “Ev­ery left-wing rad­i­cal in the coun­try wants to turn Texas blue,” Cruz said.

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