Beto O'Rourke Pins Himself In Corner Over Drunk Driving Claim

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.

The topic of Fridays' debate is domestic policy and will be moderated by KXAS-NBC 5 reporter Julie Fine and Dallas Morning News political writer Gromer Jeffers.

The race between Republican Senator Ted Cruz and Democratic Congressman Beto O'Rourke is close.

The conservative USA senator from Texas is being outpaced and overshadowed by his progressive challenger, Beto O'Rourke, who is pushing to be the first Democrat in Texas to be elected to the Senate in 30 years.

The internet Likes may be with O'Rourke, but in terms of policy points, Cruz scored decidedly more cheers from the campus crowd. "That's not true", O'Rourke said.

Throughout the debate, O'Rourke repeatedly reminded viewers that he was the only candidate on the stage who has visited all 254 counties in Texas - and forcefully pushed back several times as he came under fire from Cruz.

Alternating yard signs for Cruz and O'Rourke line the front lawns in the neighborhood, which is not unlike other areas of the country where Republicans find themselves on defense in 2018, facing voters that have traditionally voted Republican but may be disillusioned with the first years of the Donald Trump presidency.

"I'm not going to repeat the slander and mischaracterization", O'Rourke countered. If he wins the race, it could help deliver control of the Senate to Democrats. Ted Cruz "has a tendency to mischaracterize a position" after the pair repeatedly traded barbs during a frosty first debate. You, in turn, called him a 'pathological liar.' Quite frankly, there were so many insults between the two of you, it would take the rest of this show to go through them all. Now, I think what he's fighting for doesn't work.

Right off the top, the moderators asked O'Rourke and Cruz about immigration and focused on "dreamers", children who were brought to this country illegally by their parents.

Mr. Cruz said Ms. Ford is a serious woman with a charge that deserves to be heard, but he then quickly pivoted to Mr. O'Rourke's opposition to Judge Kavanaugh which Mr. Cruz said was rooted in radical ideas about jurisprudence.

"I only learned later that marijuana is not a narcotic, even though it was precisely that drug that I felt people would be most open to debating", O'Rourke wrote.

"Hold on, more armed police in schools is not thoughts and prayers".

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

Cruz was asked whether he lost his dignity by supporting Trump after losing to him in a bruising 2016 Republican primary that saw Trump deriding the senator's wife and father.

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

Among the issues that O'Rourke had with Cruz's proposed debate schedule was every one fell on a Friday evening during high school football season. The deadline to register to vote is October 9.

  • Tracy Klein