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2nd U.S. Texas Senate Debate in 2018 with

“Ted” Cruz and “Beto” O’Rourke

Live Debate: October 16, 2018

Editorial Published: October 19, 2018

By: Jenny Lea

From the start O’Rourke tossed out the insults and accusations and made sure to put himself on a pedestal. Which would be fine if he took the time to answer the questions first. At least Cruz answered the questions and then insulted, accused and bragged.


The debate was set up with each candidate having 90 seconds to respond and the candidate who received the specific question had an additional 60 seconds for a rebuttal. The debate had two modorators, Sarah Forgany with KENS 5 out of San Antonio and Jason Whitely with WFAA-TV from Dallas/Fort Worth. 


Question One to O’Rourke: Pertained to Ballot Box Security. “Should Congress enact regulations on social media, to protect voters from misinformation?”


O’Rourke started by giving a thank you speech in English and Spanish. Which, I find annoying if O’Rourke, Mr. White Boy, thinks translating his thank you speech and nothing else during the whole debate is enough for a bunch of Hispanics to go,”¡Ay, O’Rourke habla español! I love him!” (With Charo’s accent and all.) After his thank you speech, he moved on to the Russian collusion and accused Cruz of not doing enough. Ultimately, O’Rourke gave a NO ANSWER.


Cruz started by saying, “We should do more to protect the integrity of elections.” He added that he voted for the “Secure Act” that would penalize anyone who comes to the US and undermines the Election process. As for his answer to the question: NO, he believes in the First Amendment. However, he does believe “Big Tech” should be held accountable for being bias, and people should be held accountable for breaking liable laws.

(The commentator, Jason Whitely, added that Cruz answered with a ‘yes’ to regulating social sites, but he said no to regulating social sites in general and yes to regulating Big Tech companies. There is a difference.)


In O’Rourke’s Rebuttle, he answered: YES to social site regulations, but gave no specifics. He went on with attacks against Cruz concerning “fund raising”, votes in the Senate, not “blocking Trump” and not “standing up to Putin”.

Question Two was to Cruz: Due to Kavanaugh’s confirmation, “should we prepare for changes in abortion laws in this country?”


Cruz started by saying he is Pro-Life, but any changes in abortion laws would be determined by future cases. He then brought up how O’Rourke is not only pro-abortion, but extreme pro-abortion. And both O’Rourke and Hillary want the Supreme Court to be full of left leaning judges that will vote with their personal views, rather than by the Constitution. His answer was: Only time will tell.


O’Rourke started by naming off different Judges that Cruz has historically supported. He then brought up the gay community and admitted to only voting for a Supreme Court Judge that would support extreme Pro-abortion issues.


In Cruz’s Rebuttal he said he was surprised that O’Rourke did not deny his extreme pro-abortion views, and that O’Rourke admitted to electing Judges that would vote by their own views on abortion. He also accused O’Rourke of approving tax payers paying for abortions, even for “illegal aliens”, and the same Judges O’Rourke supports would undermine the First Amendment, including the Freedom of Religion and the Second Amendment.

Question Three was for Cruz and concerned Climate Change, and how Cruz is not on the Climate Change bandwagon. “What do you tell Texas companies who believe [Climate Change] really is a problem?”


Cruz said, “of course the climate is changing. The climate has changed since the dawn of time, the climate will change as long as we have a planet Earth.” He believes we should follow the science and the evidence. Democrats approach it as a form of “government power”, and a way to control the economy. He gives O’Rourke’s want to increase taxes on oil as an example. His answer: follow the current evidence, not unsubstantiated predictions.


O’Rourke starts off by insulting Cruz, calling Cruz a liar and being dishonest. Claims Cruz is lying about him but does not specify any specific accusation. He goes on to say he supports climate change and wants to make choices that support climate change.


Cruz starts his rebuttal by telling O’Rourke if he wants to be on the attack and insult Cruz “that is fine”, and quotes John Adams by saying “facts are stubborn things”. He told everyone to go to his website and there will be a link to the oil tax bill and a link to show O’Rourke’s vote.

Question four was for O’Rourke and pertained to Border Control. O’Rourke repeatedly says the US does not need a border wall. “If we don’t need a border wall, [tell the] people of Texas… what we do need.”


O’Rourke talked about his family, El Paso, how safe El Paso is and Immigrants (did not specify legal or illegal) in El Paso. He then brought up his efforts to enhance the port of entries across the border. He did not answer the question.


(Ports of entry into the US are not the locations where illegal immigrants, illegally cross into the US. If an illegal immigrant utilized a port of entry to enter the US, they were legal at that point in time, they utilized fake identification or managed to hide in a vehicle on its way out of Mexico. Most people who cross illegally into the US are the people who will be stopped by a border wall. Plus, most illegal immigrants do not live right on the border. Most of them make their way further into the US, including: New York, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and Miami.)


Cruz pointed out that O’Rourke never answered the question about border security. He then gave himself credit for being honored with the formal endorsement of the Border Patrol Counsel. Cruz plans to “build the wall” and put “more boots on the ground”. He accused O’Rourke of wanting to tear down the border walls that currently exist, and O’Rourke voted against Kate’s Law. A law that would force illegal immigrants who repeatedly return to the US illegally to face a mandatory prison sentence and it would also push to limit sanctuary cities.


(A number of people have pointed out that there is not a wall in El Paso, Texas but a "fence". The main difference between a fence and a wall is one can see through a fence. The "wall" being built at the border is, by definition, a very strong, large metal fence. Ultimately, criticizing the word "wall" is nothing more than word play.)


O’Rourke’s rebuttal was back to enhancing the ports of entry and all of a sudden, he respects law enforcement again. He then accused Cruz of voting against Amnesty for all the Dreamers.


Cruz tried to add another rebuttal about O’Rourke historically disrespecting law enforcement, but was stopped by the moderators. In this situation the rules favored the moderators. 

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The Fifth Question was for O’Rourke: How do you plan to pay for “Universal Health Care”? By cutting the budget or raising taxes.


O’Rourke brought up expanding Medicaid and opening Medicare for everyone. He also believes the tax cuts Cruz voted for could have helped to pay for the “Universal Health Care”. He did not answer the question.


Cruz brought up that O’Rourke never answered the question and said the cost of “Universal Health Care” is immense. Countries who have started a form of “Universal Health Care” are dealing with rationing medication and waiting in long lines for medical care. Financially, it would take tripling everyone’s taxes. Even if everyone who made over $1 Million a year were taxed at 100% it would only pay for about five months of the proposed “Universal Health Care”.


In O’Rourke’s rebuttal he said Cruz is utilizing fear tactics. He started insulting Cruz and making different accusations about Cruz concerning a “16-day government shutdown”. He went back to wanting to expand Medicaid. Once again, he did NOT answer the original question.

Question Six was for Cruz: Do “tariffs threaten Texas’ growth” and “is it time for the Senate to step in and stop it”?


Cruz is against tariffs and trade wars. He said this to Trump. This is one of the few issues that Cruz and O’Rourke have in common. But Cruz said he is willing to work with Trump and O’Rourke does not want to work with Trump. O’Rourke repeatedly talks about impeaching Trump. O’Rourke brings up Cruz being a part of the 16-day federal shutdown in 2013, but O’Rourke’s and the DNC’s plan to fight Trump will stall Congress for the next two years. It is a DNC Circus and not a way to get anything done. Cruz’s answer was Yes to the first part and other than him personally talking to Trump he did not respond about the rest of the Senate.


O’Rourke started by insulting Cruz and brought up ways the tariffs may hurt people in El Paso. He also let everyone know he visited every county in Texas.


Cruz’s rebuttal started with him stating he has passed 34 pieces of legislation. Including the tax cuts O’Rourke voted against. He said Texas employment is up and taxes are going down.


A list of all the bills Cruz sponsored since being elected to the U.S. Senate can be found at the Congress.gov website. 

Question seven was for O’Rourke. Apparently, he supported $15 million to support the victims of Hurricane Harvey, but two weeks later he voted against a Bill that would have given the Hurricane Harvey victims a tax relief. “What do you tell those victims who are still struggling financially, today, one year later?”


O’Rourke said he visited many of the Hurricane Harvey victims and did not believe the tax relief was good enough for them. He did not say why or what would be good enough. He said he keeps visiting some of the victims and he will be there to help people. I am guessing for photo ops, but who knows. He did answer the question: The Bill was not good enough.


Cruz’s hometown is Houston, Texas. He has helped to create three disaster relief bills. He has gone to each of the communities hit by Hurricane Harvey, across the Gulf Coast. He has also been working with the local officials. The tax relief Bill would have given the victims over $5 Billion. He helped to create the Bill and it was passed. Only four Texas Democrats in the House of Representatives voted against it and O’Rourke was one of them. Today O’Rourke says it was not enough, but at the time he voted NO he said, He wanted to focus on illegal immigrants rather than Hurricane victims.


At the start of O’Rourke’s rebuttal, he was asked if he regrets the NO vote. He said NO he does not regret the NO vote, and he will always look for ways to help everyone, anyone and that includes Texas. He then said he visited local officials too and then attacked Cruz about Cruz taking time off in the Senate to run for President.


O’Rourke bringing up any time off Cruz may have taken during his Presidential run is hypocritical. O’Rourke has not stepped down from the House of Representatives while he has been running for Senator. O’Rourke has his own history of not being present for several House Votes. Plus, rumor has it, if he wins the Senate Election he will look at running for President in 2020 or 2024. Odds are, if he has not stepped down from the House during his Senate run, he will not step down from the Senate during a Presidential run.

Question Eight was for Cruz. He Tweeted about how ridiculous the deficit is and then two months later he voted for the Republican Tax Plan, and supposedly it added to the deficit. “Some people would say the vote was hypocritical. Are they correct?”


Cruz: No, and he is proud he supported the tax cut. It benefits everyone, including Texas. Unemployment is down, and business is booming. If you want to bring down the debt, the best thing for that is economic growth. Democrat Kennedy and Republican Reagan used tax cuts to increase the economy and brought down the debt. Today, federal tax revenue has already increased, and now we need to reduce government spending. His answer to the question was: NO he is not a hypocrite


O’Rourke bragged about balancing the books in El Paso at a local government level, as a counsel member. He compared the amount of the deficit to the amount of the tax cuts by subtracting the little number from the big number, showing he doesn’t understand economics, or he believes his fans are not smart enough to understand economics. It could be due to common core, but O’Rourke is too old to have learned common core when he was in elementary. He then goes on to accuse Cruz of taking money from different big companies.


In Cruz’s rebuttal he explained how O’Rourke is having other groups raising PAC money for him and all of O’Rourke’s votes in Congress are all to the far-left.

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Question nine was for Cruz and pertained to civility. How do you suggest we bring civility and respect back to this country?


Cruz admits to political attacks, but they are not personal. He attacks a candidate’s voting records. He believes everyone can agree and disagree and remain civil. Technically he answered the question. The question does not allow for a straight forward response.


While Cruz was answering the question in his 90 second time-span, one of the moderators, Jason Whitely, interrupted him and wanted to reword the question. Cruz continued talking and then told Jason to let him finish his answer. Some people felt Cruz was rude, but Jason broke away from the rules. There is a question, each person has 90 seconds to respond and the person being asked the question gets an additional 60 seconds for a rebuttal. Who knows if Jason was going to give Cruz any extra time for interrupting him. If Cruz was not answering the question properly oh well, O’Rourke did not answer plenty of questions and no one interrupted him.


O’Rourke bragged about getting an award for civility and went on to say he will work with both parties. His campaign page and voting record say otherwise.


During Cruz’s rebuttal he said O’Rourke considers himself to be civil, but constantly pushes to impeach the President. That is not civility.

Question Ten was about the “MeToo Movement” and was meant for O’Rourke to answer. The President said it is a very scary time for young men. O’Rourke is raising two sons. “What do you tell them?”


O’Rourke has two sons and one daughter. He tells them they should be treated with respect and they should respect others. He supports the Violence Against Women Act. He went on about equal pay and healthcare. Technically he generally answered the question with telling them to be respected and respect others. However, Trump was talking about men being accused without proof and with that in mind, O’Rourke did not answer the question.


Cruz was asked about his two daughters. He said he does see the pros of the MeToo Movement. He wants his two daughter’s rights to be protected and for them to be valued and respected. He also remembers being a son and he wants to protect everyone’s rights.


During O’Rourke’s rebuttal he said Cruz didn’t give a reason for voting against the Violence Against Women Act. He once again talked about Cruz taking time off for his Presidential run and made sure to repeat how he visited every county in Texas.

Question eleven was for both candidates. What have you done in the last year that has nothing to do with Texas?


Cruz said the hardest thing about his job is being a Dad. He was able to attend his daughters basketball practice and other family activities.


O’Rourke agrees with Cruz. Being a Dad is tough. He spends time in the basement with his kids playing the drums, having a family band session.


Both answered the question: Being a Dad and family activities.

Each candidate gave their closing statements, starting with O’Rourke.


O’Rourke thanked the moderators, viewers and others. He talked about a conversation he had with General Mattis about how the US is strong and respected. He went on to repeat his TV commercials about working together as one party. He wants teachers to have a living wage, give Dreamers amnesty and Universal Healthcare.


Cruz brought up how he and O’Rourke are on opposite sides of each issue. Cruz wants to cut taxes and O’Rourke wants to raise taxes. Cruz wants to repeal job killing regulations and O’Rourke wants to increase them. Cruz wants to appeal Obamacare, reduce premiums, protect pre-existing conditions and expand access, and O’Rourke wants to socialize medicine and have the federal government in charge of everyone’s health care and doctors. Universal Healthcare will bankrupt Medicare. He wants to maintain the economic boom and O’Rourke wants the next two years to be a partisan circus and to impeach the President. Cruz asked if we would choose fear or hope. He chooses hope and we need to defend jobs and defend the Constitution.


Jenny's Closing Statement: Both candidates were asked six questions, including number eleven that was asked to both candidates. Over all Ted Cruz answered all six questions. He partially answered question six. O’Rourke on the other hand only answered two questions. The rest of the time he spent his seconds dancing around the question, changing the subject or attacking Cruz. Cruz attacked O’Rourke in return, but at least he answered the questions. Cruz attacked O’Rourke’s voting history, comments made in past interviews and rallies and so on. O’Rourke on the other hand took the next step down into name calling. He damn near bounced around the debate floor yelling-Cruz is a liar… liar, liar, liar… pants on fire!!! But never specified any specific issue Cruz lied about. Plus, when Cruz was receiving the attacks, he smiled, laughed and either brought it up with a response or moved on. O’Rourke on the other hand was obviously able to dish out the attacks, but receiving the attacks is another thing. He did not laugh or smile about it. His facial expression became very serious and grim looking and he would give Cruz a cold stare. Whether it is voting for the better man or the lesser of two evils, Cruz has my vote. When it comes to the issues I agree with O’Rourke less than 2% of the time and I agree with Cruz over 90% of the time. No matter how much they attack each other, I am voting on the issues and those issues point to Cruz.


Note – I was unable to watch or record the debate live on October 16th. I watched the full debate at YouTube thanks to ABC’s WFAA-TV. My own comments are in italic. The responses by each candidate were summarized and any known quotes were properly placed within quotation marks. Thank you for taking the time to read this editorial and please make sure to share it.