After Debate, Trump Rips Beto O'Rourke, Endorses Former Rival Ted Cruz

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Democratic Congressman Beto O'Rourke has parlayed positive press into a $10 million fundraising advantage over Sen. While the senator might wish everyone had forgotten all about that, his opponent Beto O'Rourke revived the nickname during Tuesday night's debate in San Antonio. Cruz called Trump a "sniveling coward" and refused to endorse him when he spoke at the Republican National Convention, prompting viewers to boo him off the stage. O'Rourke said Cruz hadn't done enough to stand up to Trump when it came to Russian Federation and that the state needs a "full-time senator" rather than someone who concentrates on running for president.

Over the hourlong event, the El Paso congressman took a series of harsher-than-usual swings at Cruz - including a couple of blows evocative of the senator's battle with Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential race. A new CNN poll out Tuesday showed Cruz with a 7 percentage point lead - consistent with other recent surveys that have shown the Republican clearly ahead. "Beto is a Flake!" "It's why the president called him "Lyin" Ted' and it's why the nickname stuck - because it's true".

With Election Day just three weeks away, Tuesday might have been one of O'Rourke's last shots to gain ground. He shattered the single-quarter fundraising record for a Senate campaign committee with $38.1 million reported in his third-quarter filing.

In response, O'Rourke said Cruz is all talk and no action about his relationship with the president and questioned where the results are. "He has had to rely more on establishment donors rather than small donors like O'Rourke has, which is a slight shift from his first Senate race where he often kind of compared how much his opponents was getting from lobbyists versus how much he was getting from small donors", Batheja said.

As O'Rourke hammered Cruz as more interested in his political career than representing Texas - "Ted Cruz is for Ted Cruz", the challenger said at one point - Cruz pressed his long-running case that O'Rourke is captive to the activist left and too liberal for Texas. He has also criticized Cruz for supporting Trump's trade policies, which he said have hurt the Texas economy. Cruz countered that the movement "had done an incredible amount of good for this country" and that people of both sexes need to be protected from harassment and abuse.

President Trump appears to be hoping Texas voters have forgotten about the 2016 Republican primaries.

Even though Cruz looks to be in a better position than earlier in the race, Trump 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. Cruz said that he "supported funding from the federal government to the states to secure our elections".

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