Texas Senator Ted Cruz on Friday said that he is ready to debate Beto O’Rourke, his Democrat rival who will be running against him in the Midterm Election in November. Appearing on Lone Star Politics, a political show produced by KXAS-TV (NBC5) and The Dallas Morning News, Cruz said that he is not “remotely concerned” or “afraid” to debate far-left Democrats.
Acknowledging that O’Rourke is a formidable candidate, Cruz said that his opponent’s campaign is fueled by anger over President Donald Trump’s victory in 2016. Cruz said he looks forward to discussing policy with O’Rourke.
The incumbent Republican also conceded that O’Rourke would continue to raise more campaign cash than him. In the first quarter of 2018, O’Rourke raised $6.8 million, more than twice what Cruz raised.
However, there are far more voting conservatives in Texas than Democrats. Cruz said that O’Rourke’s policies, including raising taxes, expanding the Affordable Care Act, gun control, sanctuary cities and supporting the idea of impeaching Trump were too extreme for most Texans.
“Those are views that appeal to the extreme left,” Cruz said. “That doesn’t reflect the common-sense views of Texas.”
Cruz is leading his Democratic challenger, O’Rourke, by 7 points in a poll released Tuesday.
According to JMC Analytics survey, about 47 percent said they would support Cruz, compared to 40 percent who indicated support for O’Rourke. Seven percent were undecided.
Cruz could have a tight race on his hands, according to the findings of a recent Quinnipiac University Poll. Cruz has 47 percent support, while O’Rourke has 44 percent.
O’Rourke said that he is “not running against,” but “for something.” The Democrat said that he would focus on three key issues: Gun control, broadband internet, and public education.
Fired up by all of the energized Texans who came out to tonight's Unity Rally in Dallas! Great being with you! pic.twitter.com/t1WWE68Ucm— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) May 25, 2018
“There needs to be an increased focus on bipartisanship. One area that calls for cross-aisle politics is gun regulations. The Second Amendment shouldn’t be repealed,” he said.
Last month, O’Rourke’s camp sent a letter to Cruz, challenging him for a series of debates. However, they did not get a response. This Thursday, the O’Rourke’s camp took a dig at Cruz for not responding to the letter. Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said in an email, “We’ll debate of course, but we aren’t beholden to any made-up timelines.”
With his strategic campaigning and massive funding, Democrats O’Rourke believes that he can turn Texas blue.
In a conversation with The Texas Tribune, O’Rourke said that he will focus on positive changes than opposition to particular policies or candidates.