President Trump will visit Texas in October to stump for Cruz.
O'Rourke has long acknowledged what he describes as a "serious mistake" when he was arrested for DWI in 1998, but it wasn't until last month that the Houston Chronicle reported on the severity of the transgression. During the 2016 presidential race, the moderators reminded the audience, Mr. Trump savagely attacked Mr. Cruz as "Lying Ted", while Mr. Cruz characterized Mr. Trump as an inveterate liar himself.
"He took shots at your wife and father ..." Going first, O'Rourke said that as a fellow member of Congress, he respected the sacrifice Cruz was making with his family to do what he believed was best for the country.
With his support of universal healthcare, his openness to abolishing the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, and his willingness to consider impeaching Trump, O'Rourke may define the party going forward in a way that could be incongruent with more moderate Democrats who must defend their Senate seats in states that Trump won in 2016.
Cruz didn't speak to the media afterward except to say he thought the debate "went great".
"There is a fundamental choice in this election". Donald Trump had been elected president, and we had an opportunity, an opportunity to do something extraordinary. "I believe Texans want strict constitutionalists on the court and not these radical views". "You just said something that I did not say and attributed it to me".
Cruz said that Dr. Martin Luther King would not have "stood for" Colin Kaepernick's national anthem protests, during which the NFL player famously kneeled pregame to bring awareness to police-involved violence.
"Texas is a tough state to poll (lots of new residents, low turnout among certain voting groups, may be hard to reach Spanish-speaking voters)", Nate Silver, editor-in-chief of FiveThirtyEight, said on Twitter. Cruz started with a similar response, pointing out that they both have young children and saying, "Every day, when I leave for the campaign trail, it's hard". "When you have a president who may or may not have tried to collude with Russian Federation in 2016, but to quote the conservative columnist George Will, 'On that stage in Helsinki as he defended Vladimir Putin instead of the United States of America, that was collusion in action'". We must work with him, where we can.
Ted Cruz is in the political fight of his life - and he knows it.
The spat Cruz had with Trump in the 2016 primary, and the way Cruz capitulated nearly immediately after, was not just a matter of whether Cruz had the principles to stand up for himself or his family.
In Cruz's Senate career, he has missed 13.4 percent of votes, compared to O'Rourke 2.9 percent absence for House votes over the same period.
O'Rourke said he's concerned at the high numbers of black Americans who are killed by white police officers.
Matthew Chapman is a video game designer, science fiction author, and political reporter from Austin, TX.