O’Rourke Recycles Trump’s ‘Lyin’ Ted’ Nickname in Debate with Cruz

U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke speaks during a debate with U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (not shown), at the KENS- 5 TV studios in San Antonio, Texas, U.S., October 16, 2018. (Tom Reel/San Antonio Express-News/Pool via REUTERS )

Representative Beto O’Rourke (D., Texas) employed a combative approach in his debate with Senator Ted Cruz of Texas Tuesday night, repeating President Trump’s derisive nickname from the 2016 campaign, “lyin’ Ted.”

O’Rourke, a three term Congressman trailing slightly behind his incumbent opponent weeks before election day, went on the offensive immediately, employing hostile rhetoric reminiscent of that on display in the 2016 Republican primary debates.

“This is what you can expect over the course of debate,” O’Rourke said after Cruz accused him of supporting a tax hike on oil. “Sen. Cruz isn’t going to be honest, he’s dishonest.”

“That’s why [Trump’s] nickname stuck — because it’s true,” he added.

Cruz, a former competitive debater, remarked on the palpable shift in his opponent’s strategy since their last debate.

“Well it’s clear Congressman O’Rourke’s pollsters told him to come out on the attack,” Cruz said.

The candidates’ position relative to President Trump emerged as a central topic of the debate as Cruz painted his opponent as unable to cooperate with the White House while O’Rourke cast the incumbent senator as a Trump puppet.

O’Rourke is “the only Democratic Senate nominee in the country who has explicitly come out for impeaching President Trump,” Cruz said, adding that if his opponent were to be elected, he would pursue“two years of a partisan circus” resulting in impeachment.

“It’s really interesting to hear you talk about a partisan circus, after your last six years in the U.S. Senate,” O’Rourke shot back.

“Listen,” O’Rourke said, “if you have this special relationship with President Trump, then where is the result of that? You are all talk and no action.”

O’Rourke then raised the specter of the recent wave of sexual assault allegations that have disrupted elite professionals in nearly every industry and accused Cruz of being insufficiently supportive of the #MeToo movement.

“The #MeToo movement has done an incredible amount of good for our country,” Cruz said in response to O’Rourke’s citing his opposition to the Violence Against Women Act . “I believe everyone, women and men, girls and boys, need to be protected.”

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Making Sense of the Iran Chaos

One would prefer that correct decisions be made according to careful, deliberate plan. But a correct decision made impulsively, through a troubling process, is still nonetheless correct, and so it is with Donald Trump’s decision to refrain from military action against Iran. The proposed strike would represent a ... Read More
Film & TV

Murder Mystery: An Old Comedy Genre Gets Polished Up

I  like Adam Sandler, and yet you may share the sense of trepidation I get when I see that another of his movies is out. He made some very funny manboy comedies (Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, The Waterboy) followed by some not-so-funny manboy comedies, and when he went dark, in Reign over Me and Funny People, ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Pro-Abortion Nonsense from John Irving

The novelist has put up a lot of easy targets in his New York Times op-ed. I am going to take aim at six of his points, starting with his strongest one. First: Irving asserts that abortion was legal in our country from Puritan times until the 1840s, at least before “quickening.” That’s an overstatement. ... Read More