In tonight’s debate between David Dewhurst and Ted Cruz, sparks flew, with both men accusing the other of lying or being misleading.
“There’s a difference between being a debater and fighter,” Dewhurst said.
The two sparred on health care, with Cruz accusing Dewhurst of having pushed for Medicaid expansion, something Dewhurst responded was “simply not true.” Cruz said Dewhurst’s citing of studies showing some European nations had better health outcomes than the United States “highlight[ed] a real difference” between the men, since such studies, he argued, included universal coverage, not just outcomes, constituted part of such studies’ criteria as to what countries provided the best care.
Asked about his support for a guest worker program in a 2007 speech, Dewhurst responded, “I then and now would never support any, any changes to our immigration law until and unless our border is secure” on amnesty. Cruz accused Dewhurst of having supported a guest worker program for all illegal immigrants. Such a program, he said, would constitute “a much broader amnesty than Barack Obama’s” decision to essentially implement the DREAM Act.
The two also discussed the removal of the 2007 speech from Dewhurst’s website. Dewhurst argued it remained accessible to the public, as anyone could request the speech via phone or e-mail.
“I have never supported a payroll tax,” claimed Dewhurst. (PolitiFact rates that claim false.) Cruz objected, saying “the reason we don’t have a payroll tax right now is Governor Perry stood up against” Dewhurst.
Speaking about some of Dewhurst’s attack ads, Cruz said, “I have not reciprocated and impugned his character.” But he also darkly suggested that some of Dewhurst’s investments could be in Chinese companies, commenting, “He’s got over $200 million dollars . . . shrouded in secrecy.” His campaign, Cruz conceded, had not been able to go thoroughly through Dewhurst’s finances since “his holdings are so vast that we’re not able to penetrate” them all.
Asked if they would have voted to confirm John Roberts had they known of how he would vote on Obamacare, both Dewhurst and Cruz said they would not have voted to confirm him.
Shortly after the debate’s end, the Dewhurst campaign announced that Dallas mayor Tom Leppert, who finished third in the primary, had endorsed Dewhurst.