The Latest: O’Rourke evokes Trump’s ‘Lyin’ Ted’ in debate

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke, center, ducks through the rain as he arrives for rally, Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, in San Antonio. O'Rourke is taking a sharper tone in his campaign heading into the final scheduled debate with Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The Latest on the Texas Senate race debate between Republican incumbent Ted Cruz and Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke (all times local):

9:30 p.m.

Beto O’Rourke has evoked a nickname Donald Trump bestowed on his then-2016 presidential rival Ted Cruz, “Lyin’ Ted,” as the Democrat went on the offensive repeatedly during a Texas Senate debate in San Antonio.

Early into the action, Cruz criticized O’Rourke for supporting a proposal that explored imposing a tax on oil production. O’Rourke responded: “Senator Cruz is not going to be honest with you” adding “it’s why the president called him Lyin’ Ted and its why the nickname stuck.”

Cruz laughed off the exchange saying it was obvious that O’Rourke needed to attack to try and reverse polls that show him fading.

O’Rourke has shattered fundraising records and attracted national attention, but polls that once showed him staying within striking distance now have Cruz ahead.

___

8:20 p.m.

Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke are wasting little time laying into each other in the second and final scheduled debate of a Texas Senate race that has become one of the country’s hottest — even as polls suggest it may not stay close.

O’Rourke, an El Paso congressman, has used record-setting fundraising and a background as a one-time punk rocker to attract heaps of national attention as he tries to upset Cruz and become the first Democrat to win statewide office in Texas since 1994.

Polls this summer suggested he was staying within striking distance. But Cruz has more recently opened up around 10-point leads.

O’Rourke had long stayed positive, but took Cruz to task on Tuesday for failing to criticize President Donald Trump over Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and said he didn’t tell the truth on other issues. Cruz decried O’Rourke’s “extreme views” on abortion.

___

4:15 p.m.

Democrat Beto O’Rourke is hoping to reverse polls showing him fading against Republican incumbent Ted Cruz in the second debate of a Texas Senate race that’s become one of the nation’s most-watched.

O’Rourke is giving up his El Paso congressional seat to challenge Cruz and shattered Senate fundraising records with an astounding $38-plus million in the three months through September.

But polls that once showed O’Rourke staying close to a monumental upset in deep red Texas now suggest Cruz is pulling away.

Cruz kept O’Rourke on the defensive when they debated last month in Dallas, and O’Rourke, who had maintained a feel-good message, has promised a sharper tone Tuesday night in San Antonio.

It’s the race’s last scheduled debate after one in Houston was canceled amid Senate floor votes.

Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.



Advertiser Content