A new poll out today shows that U.S. Senate Democratic candidate Beto O'Rourke leads Sen.
Friday night was the first debate for Cruz and O'Rourke.
The debate at Dallas' Southern Methodist University also saw Cruz criticize O'Rourke's past support for legalizing marijuana, evoking his older half-sister, Miriam, who died of a drug overdose. "I've got to say, [PETA] summed up the entire election", Cruz said.
The candidates also differed regarding the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, which has engulfed Washington recently with a thinly sourced allegation of sexual misconduct by Mr. Kavanaugh more than three decades ago made by Christine Blasey Ford, a California professor.
An ex-punk rocker who has attracted glowing attention from national liberal circles for his high-energy campaign and monster fundraising, O'Rourke has been mentioned as a possible 2020 Democratic vice-presidential candidate and even a 2020 White House hopeful. Cruz dismissed many such visits as photo-ops.
Mr. O'Rourke claimed things like "universal background checks" would make schools and other places "demonstrably safer", before chiding Mr. Cruz that "thoughts and prayers are not going to cut it". Cruz responded that "Texans' lives are better" because the Republicans won the presidency in 2016, and he didn't want to be a sore loser.
On Saturday, animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) handed out free barbecued tofu outside of a restaurant in Columbus, TX, where Republican Senator Ted Cruz held a event for his re-election campaign to the United States Senate.
Such work would prove hard, Mr. Cruz said, given Mr. O'Rourke "has never talked to the president and wants to vote for impeachment".
Nonetheless, O'Rourke has raised significantly out-raised Cruz.
O'Rourke's candidacy has drawn large crowds in Texas and a following among progressives nationally.
Asked what he admired about O'Rourke, Cruz managed to compare him to socialist Sen.
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