Cruz, O'Rourke claims cite taxes, immigration

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Democrat Beto O'Rourke abandoned his usual message of unity and optimism and laid into Ted Cruz, hoping to reverse polls that show him fading against the Republican incumbent during the second debate of a Texas Senate race that has become one of the nation's most closely watched.

"Well it's clear Congressman O'Rourke's pollsters have told him to come out on the attack, so if he wants to insult me and call me a liar, that's fine", Cruz snapped.

"Senator Cruz is not going to be honest with you", O'Rourke said. "It's why the president called him "Lyin" Ted, ' and it's why the nickname stuck ― because it's true".

Cruz, who recent polls show is maintaining a high single-digits lead in the race against O'Rourke, shot back at his Democratic challenger.

Cruz said. "With Congressman O'Rourke leading the way, [there'll be] two years of a partisan circus and a witch hunt on the president".

Ted Cruz, the one-time presidential candidate whose Senate seat O'Rourke is aiming to capture next month.

O'Rourke tried to engender empathy from an audience in Lubbock, Texas, claiming, "I grew up in El Paso where no U.S. Senator ever opened an office".

Democratic Congressman Beto O'Rourke has parlayed positive press into a $10 million fundraising advantage over Sen.

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Trump, who won Texas by nine points in 2016, is taking the once unthinkable step of staging a rally in a state that's so reliably conservative, heading Monday to an 8,000-seat Houston arena.

Trump weighed in on Twitter Wednesday morning with strong praise of Cruz for securing cuts in taxes and regulations and protecting gun rights.

O'Rourke also reprised his attack on Cruz for focusing on his presidential ambitions so soon after he was elected to the U.S. Senate, and criticized the tone of his Republican opponent's campaign.

Now Houston-based filmmaker Richard Linklater ("Slacker", "Dazed and Confused", "Boyhood", etc.) is reviving the weirdness in a new Fire Ted Cruz PAC ad (below)-a sequel to last week's "Is Ted Cruz "Tough As Texas"?" spot ("Watch the strangely delightful Richard Linklater-directed "Fire Ted Cruz" ad that's gone viral"). Ted Cruz, the president's campaign announced Monday night. You were all talk and no action.

Regarding tariffs, Cruz said he's against tariffs & trade war and said he's made the case to President Trump to expand exports.

"You are all talk and no action", he told Cruz. We were the sixth largest city in the state.

On healthcare, O'Rourke said he favors expanding Medicaid and getting to universal health care.

Cue a clip of Cruz declaring that "I'm a big fan of eating White Castle burgers".