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Beto O’Rourke Brilliantly Uses Trump’s Words To Completely Destroy ‘Dishonest’ Ted Cruz In Second Debate

Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke turned up the heat during his second debate with Sen. Ted Cruz on Tuesday night, using President Trump’s words to sharply attack Cruz’s honesty and character.

Using phrases like “Ted Cruz is for Ted Cruz” and “all talk and no action,” and questioning whether the senator had delivered any results for Texas, the Democratic candidate took his most direct shot at his opponent when Mr. Cruz expressed skepticism about climate change, invoking an attack line that Donald J. Trump had used in the 2016 presidential race.

“Senator Cruz is not going to be honest with you,” Mr. O’Rourke said, The New York Times reported. “He’s dishonest, and it’s why the president called him Lyin’ Ted, and it’s why the nickname stuck — because it’s true.”

“It’s clear Congressman O’Rourke’s pollsters have told him to come out on the attack,” Mr. Cruz replied.

In their first debate last month, Mr. O’Rourke was largely reserved and anything but aggressive. On Tuesday, however, he called out Cruz for his dishonesty and lack of morals.

Cruz, who leads in the polls in their hotly contested Senate race, pushed back hard, at one point describing his Democratic opponent as being on the “extreme” end of the abortion rights spectrum, and voting in favor of taxpayer-funded abortions.

The two nominees clashed from the first question, about the security of voting and whether Congress should regular social media companies.

O’Rourke said that voting and the ballot box were “under attack” more than “any other time in our nation’s history” and argued that Sen. Cruz has not done enough to finance greater election security measures. He also criticized President Trump’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir V. Putin, given Russian’s interference in the 2016 American election, and pledged to “stand up” to Mr. Trump while saying Mr. Cruz had not.

In a momentous exchange, O’Rourke cornered Cruz with a sharp critique for opposing the Violence Against Women Act.

Cruz responded by presenting himself as a strong supporter of the #MeToo movement and victims of sexual assault and misconduct.

“The #MeToo movement has done an incredible amount of good for our country,” Mr. Cruz said. “I believe everyone, women and men, girls and boys, need to be protected.” As the father of two girls, and the son and husband of women who had careers, he noted that he helped lead a Senate effort to stop secret settlements by members of Congress over sexual harassment complaints.

The two candidates had initially agreed to three debates, but one was postponed and has not been rescheduled. Tuesday’s debate focused on domestic and foreign policy and can be streamed on the websites of KENS 5, the Texas Tribune and other news organizations.

The battle between Mr. Cruz and Mr. O’Rourke has captivated and polarized Texas and drawn enormous interest nationwide, with the candidates raising far more money than those in typical Senate races.

In the last three months alone, O’Rourke raised a record-breaking $38.1 million, the most of any Senate candidate ever. And he has enjoyed a kind of pop-culture celebrity status, getting a shout-out from the young El Paso soul singer Khalid at the American Music Awards and jamming on stage with Willie Nelson.

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